Buenos Aires Times

sports FOOTBALL

Argentina hosts first ever Dwarf Copa América in bid to tackle prejudice

Buenos Aires hosts teams from Chile, Colombia, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia and invitee Morocco for an event running Thursday and runs through Sunday. 

Friday 26 October, 2018
Argentina's and Colombia's football teams line up before the Dwarf Copa América clash at Ferro Carril Oeste Club in Buenos Aires, on October 25, 2018.
Argentina's and Colombia's football teams line up before the Dwarf Copa América clash at Ferro Carril Oeste Club in Buenos Aires, on October 25, 2018. Foto:AFP-Eitan Abramovich

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The first Dwarf Copa América has started in Buenos Aires with the goal of using football to tackle social prejudices.

Teams from Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Paraguay, Peru, and Bolivia are taking part in the continental tournament with Morocco joining the line-up by special invitation. It began Thursday and runs through Sunday. 

"We belong to the most discriminated against group in the world. We have managed to change that, to show what we are capable of –  to play football, to work and to study," said Facundo Rojas, captain of Argentina's national team.

Brazilian team member Oromar Miranda said: "For years we never even dreamed we would be playing an official football match one day, so it is very important for us."

Matches are played on indoor pitches with teams of seven-a-side. Goal posts are smaller: 1.70m high and 2.0m wide, against 2.44m and 7.32m for traditional full-size goals.

Argentina football idol and Barcelona super star Leo Messi has taken note of the new tournament, according to Diego Serpentini, who is playing for Argentina here.

"I was able to meet Leo Messi and he said he had heard good things about the tournament. If he has heard about it, it means the tournament is generating a lot of interest," Serpentini told AFP.

- AFP

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