- Author: Carol Wirth
I can’t say I know much about soccer…football…or futbol.
But I do understand the sound that rings around the world with one word, GOOOOOOAL!
Amid the heightened state of euphoria surrounding the U.S. women’s soccer team winning the 2015 World Cup, I read many articles, columns, and heard commentary on the subject. Most notably, player Tiffany Weimer, touched on feeling the global connection of the sport in for the Washington Post.
But it wasn’t until I read a children’s book that had been laying around for a while, that I finally understood (no. grasped) the energy surrounding soccer.
To this day, in the face of poverty, bully rulers, and unsafe alleys, people play soccer. Through war, revolution, and hardship, people play soccer. In South Africa, East Asia, North America, the West Indies, and all corners of the world, people play soccer. Soccer bonds. Soccer makes both young and old feel that they belong, that they matter, and that they can win.
In South Africa, the people affectionately call their national football team Bafana Bafana, “the boys.” Here in this alley, we join a group of friends as they embrace the spirit of soccer. They play to stay connected. They play to stay children. They play to stay human. But mostly, they play to play.
As Javaherbin so eloquently put it, soccer is a sport played throughout the world – not only in developed countries, but in developing countries. Meaning, you don’t have to have money or stature to play.
Historically, it has been a field in which people can overcome differences –political, economic, race, religion– to play. To just play.
And that is something that any child and adult can do.
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