4 October 2016

It was created to highlight the importance of the fight against exclusion and discrimination by recognising an outstanding group, initiative or football personality that stands for diversity and anti-discrimination in football.


When the inaugural FIFA Diversity Award was presented at the Soccerex Global Convention on September 26th in Manchester, an initial shortlist of 100 candidates had been whittled down to just three finalists: the International Gay and Lesbian Football Association, Kick It Out, and streetfootballworld network member Slum Soccer, the ultimate winner of the award.


“The FIFA Diversity Award comes to use at a very opportune time when we are reaching out to yet more unreached groups,” Slum Soccer CEO Abhijeet Barse told streetfootballworld. “We recently started working in a district affected by internal conflicts and were wondering how to send out messages; this award will open doors not just with the government officials but also with the groups that have gone away from the mainstream society.”


Slum Soccer works in six states across India, covering more than 30 districts and engaging 12,000 participants on a regular basis. The organisation runs football programmes for the most disadvantaged members of Indian society and focuses on providing long-term solutions to the issues that affect living standards in underprivileged areas, including homelessness, unemployment, HIV/AIDS, hygiene and children’s rights.


Slum Soccer participants have shown an almost 85% improvement in attitude toward problem-solving and decision-making skills; equally importantly, girls in particular have shown a marked increase in weight gain and fitness. Young people in Slum Soccer’s programmes also perform better in school, thus preparing them for a brighter future.


“With the attention this award has brought to us we now feel an increased sense of responsibility towards our target groups,” noted Abhijeet. “We would like to continue to serve them better with improved programmes and more outlets to showcase their progress.”


streetfootballworld and the entire streetfootballworld network congratulate Slum Soccer on its monumental win!

"This award will open doors not just with the government officials but also with the groups that have gone away from the mainstream society."

Abhijeet Barse
Slum Soccer CEO
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