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“Gentlemen of football, I am 11 years old”, the dreams that FIFA continues to stop an African child in Spain

Souleymane is a boy from Mali in Africa who traveled to Spain to play soccer and who trains every week at a small club in Tenerife, but that he cannot play because FIFA does not approve his file to be on the field.

Faced with this decision, the 11-year-old boy decided to write a letter in which he explains that he is desperate, that every week he asks if he can play, that he doesn’t understand why he always has to stay in the stands while his friends compete.

“The only difference I see between them and me is that I am black and I was born in Africa”, reproaches this child to the organization that for years has taken as a motto in all languages ​​”Say no to racism!”, exposes the young man in the text.

Souleymane is from Mali, he arrived in the Canary Islands two years ago by boat, alone, without any adult relatives. The name with which he appears in this report is not real, because his foster family in the Canary Islands prefers to keep him anonymous, but his letter is and the situation he is suffering from is shared by dozens of African children, all of them under the guardianship of the Canarian Government as helpless minors.

Elena Cotarelo, his foster mother, is not resigned to the fact that the child is consumed with sadness, and even less so that the seeds of mistrust towards institutions ignite in him. She is distraught and doesn’t know who else to turn to; therefore, she has decided to make the letter public.

“For a long time I have been asking every week if I was going to be able to play the next game. There was a moment when I thought that I was going to be able to play, That was when my mother delivered all the papers that the federation requested. I had my hopes up, but in the end FIFA told me no, ”the boy laments in his letter.

Meanwhile, Souleymane continues training with his club in La Laguna and practices non-stop with the ball on the terrace at home. His mother doesn’t know how much longer he can take before giving up, because every wait for a child is a world. “I feel sad, sometimes I feel angry and sometimes I get angry with FIFA”, he says in his letter.

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