Archive: Amputee Soccer
They are athletes - they run faster, kick harder, and block more effectively than their peers. They are the champions of the continent where the World Cup is taking place, but they are not invited. They are Liberia's Amputee Soccer team, the kings of amputee football in Africa. But the last Africa Cup for Amputees was in 2008. Since then, interest - and funding - for amputee soccer has steadily declined.
Most of the members of the Liberian team idle their days away, begging for change outside of grocery stores or playing soccer video games in lieu of the actual sport. But when the rare occasion arises where they can practice, it's clear they can do more with one arm or one leg than most people can do with two.
Amputee soccer helped reduce stigma against the amputees in Liberia. Before the team was famous, many people discriminated against them, assuming they were ex combattants who had caused much of the mayhem in Liberia's nearly two decades of on again off again civil war. But this hasn't changed the daily lives of most of the players. And as the World Cup continues in South Africa, Liberai's Amputee Soccer Team continues to wait around for funding in Liberia.