How Soccer Could Positively Affect America

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There is a sport out there that people can put aside their problems, hatred, and differences and instead put in all their passion and love for the sport on the field. This sport has changed the world in many ways and has now become more than a sport. It has become an instrument of peace, unity, and business. It has brought many positive cultural, business, and economic effects in this world. It’s the beautiful sport of soccer; the universal language of the world. Soccer reduces gang related violence and has become a tool of peace. Soccer for Peace is a non-profit organization aiming to unite children of war-torn nations in their shared love of soccer (Soccer for Peace). It was founded by a German graduate student Jurgen Griesbeck in 1996 and it is one of the most successful anti-violence organizations in war-torn cities (Lawrence). Originally conceived as a one-time fundraiser, benefiting the youth soccer team of Israel’s only Jewish-Muslim-Christian village, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, Soccer for Peace has since become an ongoing peace-building effort (Soccer for Peace). One of the places where one can observe the positive impact the Soccer for Peace organization has brought to is in Medellin, Colombia, South America. Soccer for Peace arrived in Medellin in 1996. Soccer for Peace is one of the most successful anti-violence organizations in this war-torn city of 1.5 million, which suffers nearly 5,000 murders each year. Young players, who are or used to be part of a gang, meet every Sunday in San Blas, one of Medellin’s hillside slums. About 300 teams in Medellin wear Soccer for Peace uniforms, and each weekend there are 60 games. In Medellin, where gang rivalries pushed young people apart, most could still agree on only one thing, their love for soccer. Griesbeck says that before he here came to Medellin, he never would have thought of soccer as a tool for peace, but he says that for Medellin it is obvious (Lawrence). In 1998 in the town of Castillo, two...
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