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World Cup: football brings people together

June 2014

As the World Cup is the hot topic on many of our lips this month, we’ve been reflecting on the important role football plays in the lives of communities we work with across the globe.

A football pitch in the depths of the Brazilian rainforest

A quilombola team prepare for a football match in the depths of the Brazilian rainforest.

Football: at the centre of community life

In South Sudan, a football pitch is at the centre of a camp home to more than 40,000 people who have returned to the country following independence. This large community is working hard to rebuild their lives in their homeland, supported by our partner HARD.

In the depths of the conflict-affected Colombian jungle, a women’s football league features teams who live in safe zones - areas set up by our partner, the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace, which are protected by international law.

And in Gaza, children growing up in a difficult environment are supported and given counselling in help centres backed by our partner the Culture and Free Thought Association. Sessions on art, drama and sports (including football) help children to play, learn and make friends in a safe space.

To view the gallery full-screen, simply press play and then select the enlarge button on the bottom right. To show the captions, select 'Show info' on the top right.

Brazil: an insider’s view

In Brazil, ‘people are crazy about football’, says Brazilian Mara Luz - our Deputy Head of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Listen to Mara as she reflects on a wide range of issues surrounding the World Cup, ranging from the building of the stadiums, the amount of public money spent and the violence in the favelas.

She also talks about the fantastic campaign win that our partner Gaspar Garcia achieved last year, helping street sellers in São Paulo to successfully appeal against a FIFA rule, stating that they would not be able to sell anything within 2km of FIFA venues during the World Cup.

Take action: ask FIFA to stop giving tax breaks

FIFA has imposed rules on Brazil which allow World Cup sponsors to be given €200 million of tax breaks.

This lost tax money could have helped to improve basic services like health care, education and sanitation, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty.

Take action now – ask FIFA to stop giving tax breaks for World Cup sponsors and never impose these rules on World Cup host countries in the future.

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