Editor’s note: This was originally posted on darfurunited.com by i-ACT Multimedia Specialist Sean Toshima.
This is a heartfelt thank you to ConIFA’s amazing staff and team. They are a hardworking group who built bridges between people, nations, ethnicities and isolated regions all over the world through friendship and the joy of playing soccer.
At the beginning of this month they organized an international football tournament in Ostersund, Sweden – the ConIFA World Football Cup – where the refugees living in isolated camps along the Chad and Sudan border, or better known as Darfur United, represented their people, their culture and their story against some of the greatest non-FIFA represented football teams in the world.
Wonderful goals and well-plotted plays on the pitch happened in every match in the lovely Jamtkraft Arena; CONIFA accomplished their goal on the world stage by connecting Darfur’s displaced refugees with some of the world’s greatest and kindest gentlemen. These gentlemen may not understand the lives and daily struggles of the Darfur United men, but they understand the universal importance of love, support and shared smiles and laughter as one.
What ConIFA accomplished during this one-week tournament is worthy of multiple Hollywood scripts. Fast forward to the tournament’s ending with grandeur trophies and medals which all participants received and proudly lifted above their heads as one deserving team. The event hall was filled with priceless heart warming, tear jerking moments of human camaraderie and the forming of lifelong friendships between people from opposite sides of the world. Never will I, nor the Darfur United players ever forget an entire banquet hall chanting their name in unison over and over and over again. “Darfur-United!”
Thank you, ConIFA, for giving a voice and a welcoming embrace to the resilient and brave men of Darfur. #GoDU