The Game, Ambanizana, Madagascar

“Do you have football team we can play against?” – Yes, we have a girls team and a boys team. “Could we play with them both?”

When we were sitting inside with all the serious adults (including ourselves) we heard some girls playing football in the field outside. So I asked Mario from UNICEF (whose father was in the national team of Chile) if he thought we could ask for a game to get to know the kids a little better, to interact with them the universal football way. -Yes!!!

So, said and done, six and later seven of us, were split up into two teams with a lot of happy children to join and the match could begin.

Madagascar football match
©Fredrik Bengtsson

Heroes were many in the 30 degrees and 80% humidity, amongst the ones that stood out were the surprisingly strong little girl that played libero in my team and Maria who scored once and made a goal gesture that had the crowd go mad.

Exhausted and really happy to have had this chat with the kids we cleaned up as much as we could and went on with the serious meetings, all happy and childlike inside.

Kids wait outside a meeting for the fun to begin
©Fredrik Bengtsson
    Magnus Nord