Twenty-five disabled players and coaches, who are members of the National Soccer Association of Amputees, hope they’ll be able to represent Peru in the Amputee World Cup in Turkey this year.
In order to do this, they have to play the qualifying tournament in Barranquilla, Columbia, this March.
The members have been working hard, training once a week for more than three years so they could make history in a national sport by being part of their country’s first-ever National Amputee team.
“This is historical and we are very happy and motivated to represent our country as a selection,” said Eduardo Garcia Tuesta, the president of the National Soccer Association for Amputees of Peru.
Gaza also has their first national amputee team that is training for the Amputee Football World Cup.
They are the first Palestinian national football team made up of all amputees, who sadly lost their limbs as a result of the Israeli siege.
Their team was formed in 2019 and hopes to play in the Asian qualification round in March in Iran. If they win, they will go on to compete in the World Cup later this year.
The team trains in crutches and runs and dribbles in prosthetic legs for three hours once a week.
The majority of these players played soccer before they lost their limbs, so adjusting to the sport has been a lot of work.
“The players don’t let their disability get in the way while they train, they just focus on trying their hardest to win so they represent Palestine internationally,” Numan Abu Shamla, Secretary General of the Palestine Amputee Football Association, told MEM. “It shows if you put the hard work in, anything can happen. For some of these players, it’s changed their lives.”
According to MEM, more than 7,500 Palestinians were injured by live bullets fired by Israeli forces between March 2018 and July 2019. 87 percent of those injuries involved limbs, and 148 resulted in amputations.Whizzco