Edior’s note: This was originally posted on darfurunited.com by i-ACT Director and Co-Founder Gabriel Stauring.
The chosen Darfur United 15, singing their anthem with pride and heart during today’s pre-game introduction versus Padania.
After the game, our Darfur United players looked tired and upset. They went against a strong tournament favorite, Padania, a region of Northern Italy. It was painful to lose 20 to 0, no matter what we told them about how polished they looked from two years ago and the tournament in Iraq.
They did not stop going all out until the final whistle. I am so proud, and we were not lying. From the sideline, those of us that were in Iraq in 2012, saw remarkable improvement. We have a much more mature team, steady on the ball, and confident enough to make some nice connecting plays going forward. They had some beautiful moments, and they started before the game kicked off.
It was surreal for me, after all it took to get them here—really against all odds—the emotions would flood me, from one moment to the next … and then again.