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‘Mision Campeones’, Italian Cooperation leveling the playing field for young Guatemalans

Kicking out crime and violence, and giving young Guatemalans a chance, was the goal of “Mision Campeones” organised from 9 to 16 June in Guatemala City by the Italian Development Cooperation, the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC) and the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti (Lnd). The aim was to sponsor the Escuela Meteropolitanas de Futbol (Emefut) project, active since 2005 in that South American country, while also marking an initial and important step in collaboration between the Guatemalan soccer federation and the FIGC/LND.

Large Italian delegation with outstanding testimonial by Giovanni Galli

The mission, arranged with the help of the CS33 Consulting Firm, saw the participation of a large Italian delegation that included, among others, LND Vice President Antonio Cosentino, President of the Tuscany FIGC/LND Regional Committee Fabio Bresci, technical sector director of the Federal Centre of Coverciano Paolo Piani and technical and tactical instructor Attilo Sorbi, with the addition of a testimonial by former national team goalkeeper Giovanni Galli, who received an enthusiastic welcome in Guatemala City.

Training, technical materials and collaboration

The mission’s agenda included visits to soccer fields and local workshops on sports medicine, technical training and organizational skills. The “Mision Campeones” aimed specifically at transferring Italy’s proven sector know-how to a nation where growth in non-professional sports is still hindered by the difficulties linked to widespread crime. On-the-field training of young coaches and players and the supply of equipment (uniforms, balls, nets) were some of the decisive aspects of the mission, which had the sponsorship of Pepsi&Co, the Italian Development Cooperation and BanTrab. An agreement was also signed between the FIGC/LND and Municipalidad de Guatemala on future collaboration through soccer.

Emefut: taking kids off the streets through soccer

The Emefut project has succeeded over 8 years in creating 16 soccer schools where 64 trainers work with over 25,000 children and adolescents. The projects is part of a broader social programme for young people entitled “Muni-Joven”, coordinated by the Italian Development Cooperation and the UNDP, in collaboration with the Italo-Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce and the CS33 consulting firm, in synergy with the Municipalidad de Guatemala. “We want to get kids off the streets through sports, offering them opportunities, a place in society and human values”, confident in “Guatemala’s massive human capital, where 70% of the population are young people”, as Head of the Muni-Joven project and Italian Cooperation special envoy Simona Torretta explained.

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