German street football tournament kicks off
30 June 2006, BERLIN - Teams from 22 countries are taking take part in the first ever street football world cup due to kick off in a Berlin suburb on Sunday.
30 June 2006
BERLIN - Teams from 22 countries are taking take part in the first ever street football world cup due to kick off in a Berlin suburb on Sunday.
Players come from social projects that use football as a way to peace and a means to fight violence, drug abuse, poverty or AIDS.
They will be playing in a specially constructed stadium for 2,200 spectators in the capital's Kreuzberg district.
The winners will receive the "Copa Andres Escobar," named after the Colombian international who scored an own goal in the 1994 World Cup and was murdered shortly afterwards.
The event, which is part of the official cultural programme for the World Cup, lasts until July 8.
Originally 24 teams had been due to compete but two teams from Ghana and Nigeria had to pull out after being denied visas for Germany.
Media reports suggested that German embassies viewed members of the Search and Groom side from Lagos and Play Soccer from Accra as illegal immigration risks if they attended the tournament.
An agency that markets tourism to Berlin criticized the decision, saying it went against the spirit of openness that Germany is trying to convey while hosting the World Cup.
Subject: German news