Photo cover: Fanis Kollias
Video: Constantinos Stathias & Fanis Kollias
Translation from Farsi: Nadir Noori & Nasruddin Nizami
More than 25 women’s football teams will take part in the Global Goals World Cup on May 14 in Copenhagen, Denmark but the Greek delegation will participate with significant last-minute changes to its roster.
Hestia FC is the first football club in Greece consisting of players who are refugees and immigrants. The team was formed as part of the Sport for Protection program of the International Olympic Truce Center and consists of 22 players who will not be able to travel to Denmark, as the issuance of their travel documents is “indefinitely pending.”
According to the team’s manager, Katerina Salta, only two of the players already had the required documents and would have traveled. However, in the meantime, the refugee squat where they were living was evacuated, and unfortunately their priorities shifted from their longing to play on the team to figuring out how they’ll survive. The team will be represented at the Global Goals World Cup by volunteer players who are Greek nationals.
Solomon MAG attended one of the team’s training sessions and asked some of the athletes, from Afghanistan, Iran and Greece, about their experiences playing the sport: defense, offense and every victory – little or big. (See the video below.)
The Global Goals World Cup is organized as part of the Sustainable Development Goals initiative and each participating team represents one of the 17 Goals. The Greek delegation is playing in Copenhagen for Goal 16: “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.”
The 22 Hestia FC players know about all too well about peace, justice and strong institutions. Most of the time, they’ve experienced the lack of these things in their lives.