UEFA President Michel Platini gave his backing to Spirit of Soccer this weekend when he visited al-Zaatari refugee camp in Northern Jordan to see how coaches are using football to help Syrian refugees.
Spirit of Soccer has been working in al-Zaatari since the beginning of the year, using football to teach Syrian children about the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) that they will encounter on their return to Syria.
The UEFA President was accompanied by FIFA Vice-President HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, whose Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) has been a key supporter of Spirit of Soccer in Jordan together with the US State Departments Office for Weapons Removal and Abatement (PMWRA).
Mine risk education
Platini was welcomed by Spirit of Soccer’s Country Manager for Iraq Mohammed Tahir, who has trained Iraqi, Jordanian and Syrian coaches to deliver mine risk education (MRE). He also met with Spirit of Soccer coaches and young Syrians participating in the MRE training and posed for pictures with landmine awareness signs.
Al-Zaatari is now the second-largest refugee camp in the world and, with thousands of refugees arriving in northern Jordan from Syria every day, is on course to be the world’s largest by the end of the year. With conditions dangerously overcrowded, Spirit of Soccer’s coaches are working tirelessly and with much courage to bring messages of safety and hope to thousands of children living in terrible conditions.
Exceptional work in dangerous conditions
“Spirit of Soccer is delighted that UEFA President Platini visited our coaches, who are true heroes doing exceptional work in dangerous conditions” said Spirit of Soccer Founder and Director Scott Lee. “We need the support of top football leaders like M. Platini and HRH Prince Ali to show that the game can be a powerful force for good in a world where too many children are suffering”.