‘Football promotes peace and unity,’ say Aweil local team players after win against UNMISS
The Green Town Football Club of Aweil beat UNMISS 7-6 on penalties, with UNMISS missing the last spot kick in a football game that had ended 0-0 in regulation time.
It was joy and jubilation for the visiting team at the end of the match, which was played to commemorate the World Health Day.
“I feel happy because to play against UNMISS, an international organization, is not easy,” said Mayen Deng Nyibek, the captain of Green Town Football Club, as he lifted the precious trophy.
“I was playing against different countries of the world,” added Nyibek, referring to the diversity of UNMISS staff members from different countries around the world.
Established barely three years ago, the Green Town FC currently stands at position five in the country’s first division league, with 15 points.
“It is our first trophy since we were established,” said Nyibek adding: “Our aim was to win, and we won!”
Nyibek said the football match had bridged any lingering gap between UNMISS and the people of Aweil.
“This game has created harmony and friendship between the UNMISS and the local community.”
To Daniel Dau, the win was a milestone for his team.
“This is the greatest achievement,” said Dau, who plays in a defensive position.
He called on UNMISS to organise more of such sporting activities because of the unity and understanding they create among the people of Aweil, and between UNMISS and the people.
This was echoed by striker Gabriel Menakwac, who took the chance to echo what everyone at the event knew:
“My message to the community will be that UNMISS is here for peace,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Head of UNMISS in Aweil, Ataklti Hailu said such sporting activities are good for health, as he called on the football club to play a big role in achieving peace in South Sudan.
“Because without people like you we cannot have durable peace,” said Hailu, who handed the trophy to the winning team.
Hailu urged the Green Town Football Club to convey the message of peace to their communities.