Mon, May 01, 2006 - Page 15 News List

War victims find hope in soccer 戰爭受害者在足球找到希望

Mohamed Fofana of the Sierra Leone amputee soccer team plays on a field in Freetown. 獅子山被截肢者足球隊隊員莫翰弗法納在自由誠戶外踢球。


A group of single-legged young men, all victims of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war in which thousands lost arms, legs and other body parts, has come together for encouragement and hope. They are Sierra Leone's national amputees soccer team.

They play with just one foot each while balancing only on the crutches. But their skills are breathtaking all the same.

"We started playing (soccer) as a social game after we became envious of other boys with two legs," said Victor Musa, of the Sierra Leone Single Leg Amputees Sports Club.

"Now we don't feel that disabled anymore; we can play football too," said Musa.

Today they are a professional team, and last year they came in third at the World Cup single-leg soccer tournament in Brazil.

The sport has helped to spread a message of hope.

"We are happy that we can get together and encourage each other," said Mohamed Lappia, who stepped on a mine that shattered his leg.

Saidu Mansaray, 22, is the team's goalie. He has both his legs, but he catches the ball with one hand because the four non-thumb fingers of the other hand were chopped off with an axe.

The team struggles to find money for transportation to attend practice sessions, let alone pay for soccer shoes. Most play with threadbare sneakers, but that does not dampen their spirits.

As for Liberia's ex-president Charles Taylor, accused of sponsoring the war and facing a war crimes trial at a UN-backed court in Sierra Leone, team captain Fornah said, "If he is found guilty, he should spend the rest of his life in jail." (AFP)




Reading Comprehension 閱讀測驗

1. How did the soccer players lose their legs?

a. In a bad operation.

b. In soccer accidents.

c. In a war.

2. The team started playing socially, but today it is ...

a. well paid.

b. professional.

c. famous.

3. At the tournament in Brazil, the team ...

a. played against teams with two-legged players.

b. couldn't afford to play.

c. took third place.

4. How many legs does the team's goalie have?

a. One.

b. Two.

c. None.

Ans: 1.c 2.b 3.c 4.b







至於被指控煽動戰爭,目前於獅子山聯合國戰犯法庭受審的賴比瑞亞前總統泰勒,隊長佛納表示:「如果他被判有罪,應該在監獄裡渡過餘生。」 (法新社/翻譯:鄭湘儀)

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