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Refugee Soccer Team Representing Darfur Receives an Offer of Friendship and Support from a Team Repr

Darfur United and Ellan Vannin Become “Twinned” Teams

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HERMOSA BEACH, CA USA and ISLE OF MAN, UK – December 19, 2013 – In what could be seen as an unlikely pairing, Manx Independent Football Association (MIFA) and Darfur United (DU) soccer team have joined in a “twinned” partnership. MIFA contacted Darfur United, a team formed from refugees living in camps in Eastern Chad, to offer support in getting DU to the 2014 ConIFA World Football Cup in Sweden. Beyond financial support, MIFA is interested in friendship, cultural exchange, and a long-term relationship with DU.

The “twinned” partnership was initiated by MIFA after hearing of the DU team’s inspiring story. Darfur United is made up of young men that escaped extreme violence in their homeland. They have been living in remote, isolated refugee camps at the edge of the Sahara for 10 years. These camps—located in Eastern Chad, close to the Sudan border—are the home to over 300,000 refugees, and have very limited resources. Darfur United is not only an opportunity for the refugees to represent their people and play, but it’s also a movement to bring hope and awareness to the displaced people of Darfur. “Players from our team, Ellan Vannin, are moved by their efforts and by the use of football as a vehicle for building community,” said Malcolm Blackburn, MIFA’s Chief Executive. “My dream is to see players from both of our teams meeting for the first time, sealing the friendship.”

Gabriel Stauring, Founder and Director of i-ACT, the organi