Talented Syrian refugee footballers awarded scholarships at Brazil academy

Amman, The Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) and Black Pearls Football Academy conducted a football tryout for teenage refugees living at the Zataari Camp and in urban areas across Jordan, in order to select talented players and award them an opportunity to enroll in the Black Pearls Football Academy in Brazil, according to a statement on Tuesday.

The academy is a high-performance football training center for young athletes from refugee and underprivileged communities that is based in Brazil and Haiti. Selected players will be able to live, continue their education and train to become professional football players in Brazil.

“The lives of those talented young players are about to undergo a huge transformation. I am excited to witness what the future will hold for them and I wish them the best of luck in Brazil,” AFDP Chairman HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein said.

The initiative was completed over three days in March where more than 100 refugees participated. The tryout culminated in a friendly match with Jordan Knights, a Jordanian football academy that had won the U16 Jordanian Youth Championship this year.

The two teams had a moment of silence prior to the game to honor the tragic death earlier that week of Qadri Al Shatti, one of Jordan Knights’ players, and the lives of all children who have lost their lives in Syria.

The match ended 3-2 to the Jordan Knights, “with plenty of great goals and a high level of sportsmanship from each team,” Black Pearls Football Academy Coach Marcos Badday noted.

At the end of the match, the Black Pearls Football Academy announced the names of the winners, who will get to continue their training and education at the academy in Brazil.

“We were planning on recruiting two players, however, from the immense talent that we found. We ended up recruiting five and one young coach to accompany the players to Brazil. We are very excited about their potential as professional football players training in a world-class football academy,” Executive Director of Viva Rio Rubem Cesar Fernandes added.

Ahmad Anjari, one of the winners who will be moving to Brazil soon, commented: “I’d like to thank the Black Pearls Football Academy for this wonderful program, and for giving us this rare opportunity to train in Brazil. It’s every player’s dream”.

The participants play football daily as part of AFDP’s program in cooperation with UEFA Foundation for Children, which has been serving refugees and host communities since 2012 at Zaatari and across the kingdom.

Source: Jordan News Agency