The Africa Peace Cup is a concept for an annual football tournament between selected teams from all continents of which revenues will be donated as relief aid for all Third World war zone countries, focusing in Africa. The Africa Peace Cup project could not only attract the attention of the more fortunate west but could also give some extra hope to the less fortunate south. This would show that the victims of these wars are not forgotten.

Football (soccer) is often one of the only few pleasures in the Third World that children are blessed with. For example, even in African war zones like Sierra Leone, you can find children on every street playing football and forgetting about hunger, suffering and war for a few short hours that day.

Football brings fun to the people and also pulls them together.

Sullay Kallon is an 18 year boy from Sierra Leone who has been crippled since he was 12 years old. Both his legs were wounded by rebel fire. He will never walk again. His only means of support is begging for food or small change from the travellers at Hastings Airport near Freetown to finance his study. He is joined there by about 10 of his friends who also have severe and lifelong wounds from the war. They all know the importance of education.

With all the odds stacked against these children it would be easy to think that they do not have a reason to smile but they do. Just mention the word Football and you will see their faces glow with delight. Sullay says ‘even though I will never be able to kick a ball again, be able to watch football is the best I have’.

In addition to the traditional tournaments like the World Cup, The European Championships, the Africa Cup and the Cup of South America, there is no reason why there cannot be a new tournament for a great cause, the Africa Peace Cup; ‘A World Football Tournament of the Continents’. The Africa Peace Cup could take place in November or December when European teams have their Winter break. Most of the African football stars play in European competitions.

To initiate this project, the thought is to start with a pilot-game in 2001 on an African savannah. This match would consist of African star players and a team of European star players. All proceeds would be donated to refugees in Africa. Perhaps some former top players or trainers would be interested in coaching these teams.

We hope this cause will gain the support from the professional Star Players, the FIFA, the UEFA, and its members, the United Nations and other authorities, and the Media worldwide.

We are confident that great athletes who have been blessed with such talent would be willing to attend the delivery of supplies to these regions, enabling television stations and other media entities to cover these events, so that the world can witness the product and end result of their efforts being directly given to those who are in need. It would be an honour to have Kofi Annan and other democratic leaders to the kick-off for this great game.

‘Joy overwhelms suffering when football bridges the gap’

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