A different... African Cup of Nations
This January South Africa will host the 2013 African Nations Cup, but in early October, the African nation accepted the football embrace of one another, different organization, demonstrating the most unique way that football is the game of all humanity.
South Africa hosted the African Cup of Nations Special Olympics, where 14 different countries of persons with disabilities took part in a special tournament. The goal was to qualify for the World Cup of people with disabilities to be held in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro. However, the joy of participation to this tournament was enough to reward the efforts of all participants.
South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Uganda and Zambia claimed three tickets for Rio and resulted in the pockets of the host South Africa, Tanzania and Cote d'Ivoire.
Coach Deon Namiseb from Namibia, praises to all who played, regardless of the end result:
"The problem that I have, is not making me a less important man. Both my present and my future is full of hopes. Football is a passion, a big passion. Tears and sad faces from one side, smiles of joy appear on the other." he said on the official website of FIFA.
"You can distinguish how united they were all participants together. And what did this reality was our common love for football. This has helped us to unite our beautiful cultures in our African rhythm, music and dance. We are all one. The fact that we came here and played football, means that everyone respects each other."
He also believes that through such events can be promoted worldwide the meaning and importance of Special Olympics as well as the right of these persons for equal treatment in society.
"We must change the way that people deal with these situations. The ability of people with disabilities is what counts. If we make these issues visible, then the word of the Special Olympics will propagate and promote a change in our society. It is very important that all people will receive equal treatment. This is what they deserve."