10 Photos of Soccer in Poverty

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MADISON, WI — To usher in the 2014 World Cup, which starts Thursday, June 12 in Brazil, we thought we would show you some places where the love of and obsession with soccer is still strong, even though there are high rates of poverty in these areas.

A staggering 715.1 million fans in every corner of the world watched the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany, despite the fact that more than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. Organizations and people like Chris Singer see these facts and believe that soccer can play a large role in positively changing the world. The love of soccer in poverty is just one example of how soccer can be used to unite the world.

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

soccer in poverty
“A game of futevôlei (footvolley), a Brazilian speciality, being played in Rocinha, one of Rio de Janeiro’s most densely populated favelas.
Source and Photo: The Daily Beast

2. Msambweni, Kenya

soccer in poverty
A young boy, Suleiman, holding his soccer ball.
Source and Photo: Flickr

3. Cambodia

soccer in poverty
Boys enjoying playing soccer despite exceptionally muddy conditions.
Source and Photo: Flickr

4. Mabopane, Pretoria, South Africa

soccer in poverty
Children playing soccer in a nearby field.
Source and Photo: Flickr

5. Ghana

soccer in poverty
Children playing street soccer as adults watch on the sidelines.
Source and Photo: Flickr

6. Chocata, Bolivia

soccer in poverty
Children playing soccer at 4000 meters above the ground.
Source and Photo: Flickr

7. Guanajuato, Mexico

soccer in poverty
Young boys in Mexico playing soccer in the streets.
Source and Photo: Flickr

8. Srinagar, Kashmir, India.

soccer in poverty
Men kicking the soccer ball around in the streets.
Source and Photo: Flickr

9. India

soccer in poverty
Children playing with each other and with their soccer ball.
Source and Photo: Flickr

10. Siam Reap, Cambodia

soccer in poverty
A boy kicking the ball outside of his orphanage in the pouring rain.
Source and Photo: Flickr

Sources: The Daily Beast, FIFA, Can Soccer Save the World?
Feature Photo: Flickr

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About Author

Taylor Prinsen

Taylor is a Visual Editing Intern at The Borgen Project for Summer 2014. She is studying Community and Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After her she graduates in May 2015, she hopes to work in a nonprofit dealing with global social justice issues, such as poverty reduction or human trafficking.

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