FT In Our Corner: The World's Game
My interest in soccer is not really in the individual skills of a player. From what I have seen, all soccer players are skilled because running and kicking at the same time is not an easy task. It requires someone with a great head-to-leg coordination to master the art of playing the sport. My greatest interest has always been how it has evolved beyond being a game to a unifying mechanism. One of the greatest stories that I came across was a story of a BBC Outlook Inspiration nominee, Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan who has used soccer to fight tribal tensions in the area that she grew up in. When in the game, people look beyond their origins and look at the collaborative nature of the game.
In multi-tribal countries like Nigeria, one of the great times when the country would stand united is when they stand behind its national team as Nigerians. At that point, the victory of the team is glory to everyone, and not to certain tribal fragments. On a much grander scale, the whole world is anticipating the 2018 World Cup more than ever. If you ask a 5th grader about where the last UN Summit was, they will most probably scratch their head, but if you ask them about where the World Cup is, they will not forget that the whole world will be united in Russia in a few days. Again, soccer is uniting us.