Against the backdrop of stadium accidents, it was heartening to see evidence of football’s power to shape the world in a positive manner this week. The Street Child World Cup (SCWC) got underway in Rio on Sunday, bringing together over 200 children between the ages of 13 and 17 from around the world for a 10-day celebration. On the schedule are small-sided games, cultural events and debates, culminating in a declaration of rights at Fluminense’s historic Laranjeiras ground.
The tournament, which took place for the first time in Durban in 2010, aims to shed light on the plight of street children the world over, challenging negative perceptions and mistreatment. By setting up in World Cup host countries, the organisers – who are backed by Save the Children – believe the event will encourage governments to put in place front-line responses to tackle an issue that affects millions.
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