Football match unites communities24 August 2005

A unique football match is helping to ease tensions and bring together communities near Malaga in Spain. The match, held annually in the stadium of Suel, pits the local Roma gypsy community against the local police in a friendly environment.

Now in its sixth year, the “Football match against racism” was the brainchild of Juan Soto from the Roma community. However, after his death, the police association Asociación Unificada de Guardias Civiles decided to pick up the reins and organise the event.

The friendly tournament is comprised of two games – the first between young Roma children and the sons of police officers, the second between the Roma adults and the police. The public are invited to the event which includes a paella feast for the celebration.

The Roma teams were victorious in both matches, with the juniors winning 8 – 4 and the adults 3 -1.