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    Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids

    Game Changer for Orphaned Kids: Street Child World Cup Ends in Moscow

    © Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
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    Denis Bolotsky
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    In just a few weeks’ time, Moscow will be hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup. However, it’s not the only international football competition in the Russian capital this year. Orphaned and street-connected teens from all over the world visited the country to compete in a tournament of their own.

    Hundreds of people gathered at Moscow's Sapsan Arena to greet the finalists of the 2018 youth football tournament for orphaned and street-connected kids. Teams from Burundi and Mauritius didn't make it to the finals, but they brought drums to cheer for their friends from other countries.

    The girls' team from the UK won the tournament's bronze medal. The boys' team from Burundi played against Indonesia on Wednesday, claiming third place.

    The excitement grew immensely during the tournament's last two matches. Surrounded by photographers and camera crews, the girls' team from Brazil entered the pitch to play against Tanzania.

    The previous Street Child United tournament was held in 2014 in Rio de Janeiro. It was the first global event of its kind, which allowed not only boys, but also street-connected, homeless, orphaned girls to play soccer. In 2014, the Brazilian girls' team won the tournament at home, and now, for the first time — abroad. The Moscow match was tough for both Brazil and Tanzania, but girls from Rio scored their first goal and managed to stay ahead their competitors.

    Former Arsenal defender Gilberto Silva, who was on the Brazilian national team during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, says that playing football helps orphaned and street-connected children  open up to a world of opportunities:

    "It's nice to see the kids here, in this environment, playing football. I'm sure it's an opportunity for them to dream about better future. I'm sure they achieve a lot through this project, and it will be a great platform for them."

    Uzbekistan's boys' team was in high hopes of making it to the very top. They all arrived in Moscow from Tashkent, where they trained hard ahead of the tournament. In the final match, Uzbekistan played against another Asian team — Pakistan. Following a 1-1 tie, Uzbekistan won the penalty shoot-out 6-5. Uzbekistan's coach, Jamshid Asadov, told Sputnik that the boys received a lot of support from people at home and even from the country's ambassador to Russia, who met with the players on Tuesday to wish them good luck:

    "The whole country was rooting for us. We made it to the finals for the first time, and we really wanted to succeed."  

    Twenty-four teams from 21 countries took part in the 2018 Street Child World Cup, whose slogan is "The future depends on you." The event was organized by the UK charity Street Child United and Save the Children foundation with the support of Russia's cellular provider Megafon and other sponsors. Its main goal is to help some of the 150 million kids worldwide surviving on the streets.

    • Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      © Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
    • Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      © Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
    • Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      © Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
    • Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
      © Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
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    © Sputnik / Denis Bolotsky
    Street Child World Cup for Orphaned Kids
    Tags:
    children, sport, football, Moscow, Russia
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