Kenya set for World Cup in Russia

By Ernest Ndunda: Saturday, April 21st 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
KENYA'S STREET CHILDREN SEVEN SIDE TEAM PREPARES FOR WORLD CUP Kenya's Street Child seven-a-side team doing some warm up at Serena Grounds in Mombasa County. The team is preparing for World Cup which runs from May 10-24. Photo/Kelvin Karani

Kenya is among the 24 teams, which will play in next month’s Street Child seven-a-side World Cup ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Russia. The tournament runs from May 10-24.

Kenya will be represented by the Mombasa based Glad’s House Orphanage, which has been picked by the event organisers for the second year running after making debut at the 2014 Street ChildWorld Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where they lost to Mauritius, Pakistan and USA before beating India but did not proceed to the quarter-final stages

“We are gearing up for the global Street Child World Cup event and we are set for the challenge ahead, “ said team’s head of delegation Freddy “Bokey” Acholla in an interview at the team’s training base at Serani grounds, Mombasa County.

“We have picked most of the players from the streets and accommodated them at our transitional house in Bomu for four months while three more players are street children housed in children orphanages,” added Acholla who is also the founder and director of the Glad’s House.

Other countries in the tournament include the host Russia, Tajikistan, Belarus, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Egypt, England, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, USA and Zimbabwe.

Acholla said the Street Child World Cup is at the heart of football, providing a level playing field to street children who have for too long been marginalized.

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“Street Child World Cup is a global campaign for street children to receive the protection and opportunities that all children deserve. The aim of the game is to challenge the negative perceptions and treatment of street children especially the issue of being rounded up and arrested by the police,” added the director.

“The issue of street children in Kenya is a major problem, affecting both social and economic development in the country. Therefore, it is a golden opportunity as organizations and as a country, to highlight and champion for the rights of children living on the streets,” he added.

He said this time round has assembled a strong team compared to that of 2014 and added that he was optimistic of making it to the knock out stages.

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