By M.S. Anwar | February 23, 2017
Kuala Lumpur – The Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, H.E. Rod Smith, has inaugurated the official partnership of the Australian Government with the Rohingya Football Club (RFC) here in Kuala Lumpur today.
The Rohingya Football Club is an initiative started by the Rohingya refugees currently living in Malaysia in 2015 and backed by an Australian NGO called the Kick Project.
H.E. Rod Smith arrived at the stadium ‘Kompleks Belia Dan Sukan’ located at ‘Kampung Pandan’ in Kuala Lumpur at around 3:30 pm and inaugurated the official event handing out jerseys and kits to each of the players of the Rohingya Football Club.
“This is a great initiative. We are happy to be partnering with the Rohingya Football Club. We’ll continue to support the team”, said H.E. Rod Smith while interacting with the media.
The inauguration event was followed by a friendly match of the RFC with another Rohingya Football Team named ‘Mayu Football Team (MFT)’, where the RFC won the match by a score of 4-1.
As the initial start-up support, the Australian government will provide the RFC a Team Bus and a Clubhouse and will bear the expense for a stadium for the club for one year.
This is part of a program to assist the club to establish and develop as a peaceful and productive outlet for Rohingya youth and children, as a means of community development and as a form of outreach to other communities.
The Club Chairman, Mr. Mohammed Noor, said “this is an initiative to develop a Rohingya National Football Team for the international tournaments.
“Similarly, we want to play with Burmese National as well as with the teams of other ethnic groups in Myanmar. We want to rise above hate and establish peace through sports. We extend our hands to them.”
The RFC played a friendly match with the team of the Kachin refugees in Malaysia last Sunday (on February 19) and the RFC won it by 2-0.
This is a good news story about how the Rohingya community is attempting to rise above their adversity and to find creative and sustainable solutions to help solve some of their many problems.
Apart from the Australian High Commissioner, the Kick Project Founder, James Rose; scores of the Rohingya refugees; the Malaysia authorities; some local Malaysians; and the many media outlets were present at the event.
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