TSG’s “The Beautiful Game” series explores the ways soccer is making a difference around the world. For other stories in the series, please click on “The Beautiful Game” category in the right sidebar.
At its most fundamental level, soccer is two feet and a ball. Now, imagine if you didn’t have two feet. More specifically, imagine if one day you took a wrong step…onto a landmine and lost your leg. Soccer is out of the question, right? Wrong.
Thankfully in America we don’t have to deal with the remnants of recent wars such as landmines and cluster bombs, but in a large part of the world they do. One of those places is Lebanon, a country that has been ravaged by war over for the last quarter century. While Beirut used to be known as the “Paris of the Middle East” prior to the Lebanese Civil War, for most folks forty and younger it has an entirely different connotation.
A group of men in Lebanon know the perils of leftover ordinance all too well as they have been torn apart by landmines. As they struggle for some semblance of normalcy after the loss of a limb(s) they found solace in an old familiar friend, soccer. These men, the Landmine Soccer Team, come together weekly to not only play together, but to heal together. And in addition to soccer bringing these men together for fitness and friendship, it has united them in a quest to raise awareness of landmines and cluster bombs in former war zones.
Here is their story as told by Time. To watch on the Time.com website, click here.