Apr
13
2008
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Strategic alliance with FIFA

Streetfootballworld is an international network and a centre of competence that interconnects and strengthens long-term football-based social and developmental organisations, initiatives and projects. Through its work, it aims to transform the lives of disadvantaged individuals around the world, increasing their opportunities and consolidating an environment of social change on a global scale. The streetfootballworld network includes more than 80 members from 50 countries. In 2005, streetfootballworld formed a strategic alliance with FIFA. This led to the the establishment of the Football for Hope movement in 2007. As part of the organisation’s cooperation with FIFA, the “streetfootballworld festival 06″ was held in Berlin in 2006, bringing together 22 teams from around the world to practise “Development through Football”. As well as further network expansion, preparations are now being made for a second global festival, which will take place in conjunction with the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. Since joining forces in 2005, FIFA and streetfootballworld have collaborated in two main areas: policy management in the field of “Social Development through Football” and the implementation and development of the joint Football for Hope movement. Through this alliance, both partners celebrate the values, popularity, universal nature and appeal of football. They are committed to contributing effectively towards the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The objective of the Football for Hope movement is to establish a quality seal for sustainable social and human development programmes that use football as the central tool in the areas of health promotion, peace building, anti-discrimination and social integration, children’s rights and education, and the environment, and, by doing so, support best practices in the field. To boost the involvement of girls, many projects in the streetfootballworld network have included rules where girls’ goals count double or where only girls can score. In Foca, the two-a-side, boy-girl team worked well with girls grabbing their fair share of the goals. And no referee is needed. A player who commits a foul is simply trusted to raise their hand.
From computer classes in Afghanistan to slum clean-ups in Kenya and cultural events in Bolivia, a whole host of activities has been associated with global street football projects. In Foca, tolerance and respect were promoted.
Eight clubs, six from the former Yugoslavia – hosts Sutjeska, Vardar of Macedonia, Maribor of Slovenia, Zeljeznicar of Bosnia, Red Star Belgrade of Serbia and Buducnost of Montenegro – along with two guest teams from further afield, Grodin of Poland and PAOK of Greece, entertained crowds with a football feast. After three days of tricks, upsets and drama in the knockout competition, Groclin followed in the footsteps of Red Star and Vardar to hold the carved trophy aloft. Locked at 0-0 after 80 minutes, the Poles defeated Maribor on penalties. Earlier, in the match for third place, Zeljeznicar, a predominantly Muslim team, had overcome home side Sutjeska 3-1 in a game played and watched in fine spirit.