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Winners for Sports Stories: Children's Love for Football in Senegal

By Liu Yu (

13:17, March 27, 2012

In Senegal, located on the western tip of the African continent, there must be soccer enthusiasts if there is an open area, no matter dawn or dusk, sunny or rainy. Senegalese boys begin to play soccer since five or six years old in their childhood. Although most of them have no opportunity to wear a pair of professional plimsoll or to play soccer on a professional field, their love for soccer cannot be stopped by anything. Senegal started amateur soccer league matches from 1960, and there has been no professional league match until 2009. However, based on the people's enthusiasm for soccer, Senegal's national soccer team has entered the final eight of the World Cup 2002 and has won the champion of Africa Cup of Nations. A great number of Senegalese soccer talents have emerged in Senegalese history, among whom there are also some big stars who play in professional leagues overseas. Senegalese soccer stars fulfilled their achievements and have become the heroes in local children's eyes. Palmer was once a soccer player in professional leagues of Saudi Arabia and now he is a coach. He said that it was the fact that becoming professional soccer player so as to change their own impoverished destiny is some boys' dream, but the fact that soccer's popularity in Senegal is at first from the love for soccer at the bottom of people's heart. Playing soccer does not need costly outfit and no matter you are rich or poor, all the players in the soccer field are equal with each other and could harvest endless happiness from soccer.

The 8th China International Press Photo Contest
Sports Stories - Gold Prize
Children's Love for Football in Senegal
Enthusiasts play soccer in rain on a beach in Dakar, capital of Senegal, on Aug. 20, 2011.

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Sports Stories Winners
Silver Prize - The Shanghai world swimming championships
Bronze Prize - A Winter's Tale
Award of Excellence - Kushti Wrestling
Award of Excellence - Country Race


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