Young Pakistani Footballers win Russian tournament to qualify for the Street Children World Cup

The international stage of ‘Future Depends on You Football tournament in Russia ended with teams from abroad winning the cup. The junior and senior group of teams from Mauritius and Pakistan won the tournament and have now qualified for the Street Children World Cup 2018.

The tournament which took place in Moscow on the 25th and 28th October in the Lokomotiv indoor stadium had 11 teams participating from countries including Brazil, Georgia, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Mauritius, Pakistan, Belarus, and Russia. Teams of 11 players consisting of girls and boys aged 12-15 took part in the tournament.

Pakistani children from the Muslim Hand FC team won the final match against Russia, Smolensk-based Galaktika team in a dramatic series of penalties.

As soon as the Pakistani goalkeeper Asad successfully defended the last strike from 6 meters mark apart, the entire team flooded towards him and hugged each other and thanked Allah.

The Pakistani team according to tournament stats was the strongest side in the senior’s group with having 23 goals during the playoffs to their name. No one could even score a single goal against them and they won all their matches.

They even beat India in the quarterfinals with a 15-0 score.

Here we have guys from different corners of Pakistan, The boys have nothing except for football. No parents, no home. Boys like team captain Abdulla and our amazing goalkeeper Asad, who I will say is the best in our team. A few years ago we came third in an international tournament in Brazil. And now we are first in Russia. We hope that in 2018 we will also be able to repeat this success. – Sahabzada Sayed Zia-ul-Nur, Pakistan’s head coach.

After winning the tournament, the team has now qualified for the Future Depends on You Street Child World Cup which will be held in Moscow ahead of FIFA 2018 World Cup with 20 teams from around the world.

More about the Future Depends on You Street Child World Cup

The Street Child Worldcup is a global movement for children to receive protection and opportunities around the world. Ahead of each FIFA World Cup, the movement unites children from across the world to play football and unite in an international conference. Together with football, art, and various campaigns, the aim is to challenge the negative perceptions people have about street children around the world.

The last Street Child World Cup took place in 2014 with Tanzania emerging victorious in the boy’s tournament and Pakistan earning the third place.