If no other team convinces you that non-FIFA football is where the real heart of football lies, then Darfur United will do just that.
One of the most war-torn places on the planet, Darfur is a region of Sudan and the thought of a football team representing it was a dream which never realistically looked like happening.
But thanks to i-ACT, a humanitarian group located in Los Angeles, that dream became a reality with a team completely made up of refugees from camps on the Sudan-Chad border. Their fantastic story led them to the Viva World Cup in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2012.
With a team full of refugees, not much was expected of the Darfur team; but winning on the pitch wasn’t the real goal. That they were playing on a World stage at all, representing their home region was a miracle and a massive victory for both Darfur and football.
They would go on to lose 15-0 to Northern Cyprus and 18-0 to Provence before a closer game against Western Sahara which they lost 5-1. Moubarak Haggar Dougom grabbed the priceless Darfur goal, hence why his name was printed on the back of the shirts.
I’m led to believe only 100 were made and the same shirts will probably be worn by the Darfur team as they compete in the ConIFA World Football Cup in Ostersund, Sweden, later this year. It’s made by Adidas and is a nice ‘two-tone’ green design. Football still has a soul – just ask Darfur United.