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Friendships flourish at Street Child World Cup

25 April 2014

STREET CHILD WORLD CUP

Triumph: a Tanzania boys player celebrates after the Cup final 

Triumph: a Tanzania boys player celebrates after the Cup final 

THE winners of the second Street Child World Cup have been crowned in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Tanzanian boys' team and Brazilian girls' team won the tournament, which is organised to raise awareness of children around the world who live on the street (News, 14 March).

The competition, which first took place in South Africa before the last World Cup in 2010, brought together street children from 19 countries, and was visited by the World Cup winners Gilberto Silva and Bebeto, as well as the Chancellor, George Osborne.

The spirit of international friendship was especially evident when girls from the Indonesian and Zimbabwean teams invented a joint "Zimdonesialand" team after enjoying playing together so much.

Ben Page, a coach of the United States' team, said: "My boys have been successful on the pitch, but all they have been talking about is their friendships with other kids. They know that in many ways they are lucky because they are returning to better conditions than many of the others."

Alongside the football, the children took part in a conference, and released a declaration of their rights, which they will take back to their home countries and to the UN.

The director of Street Child World Cup's Brazilian office, Joe Hewitt, said: "The message is clear that it is unacceptable that children should have to live or work on the streets anywhere. . . Each team will return to their country and lead the way in demanding that the rights of street children are safeguarded."

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