One Day, One Goal: The Football Tournament for peace in Alemoa Favela
Brazilian football fever will never fade even after the final of the world cup, this was proven last Sunday, 21st September, by the Alemao favela community which was vibrant with their love for the sport. In the One Day One Goal football tournament, despite the unceasing rain, spirits were not dampened as the sound of referee whistles and cheering children echoed through the hills of Alemoa.
The event to celebrate World Peace Day was not exclusive to Alemao but was a part of a movement that echoed through four different corners of the world organised by NGO, Peace One Day who partnered with the community leaders of the Alemao Complex as well as the NBS Rio+Rio agency and Voz das Comunidades (Voice of Communities) to put on this special football tournament.
With the help from sponsors Nike and Coca Cola, the football pitch was transformed from a dusty car park with a few goal posts to a functional football pitch with a sandy field surface and football nets where over 100 people gathered at Campo da Torres in a locality known as O Inferno Verde (The Green Hell).
Thanks to the Masan company, from 9am the smell of popcorn and freshly cooked pizza wafted as the players aged 9-11 years got their refuels in between matches. Meanwhile, the competition on-pitch was fierce, eight teams from the region competed for the grand golden trophy including Inferno Verde 1, Inferno Verde 2, Fazendinha, Palmeiras , Rua 2, Area 5, Casinhas and União.
The quality of football was extremely high as was the tension on the sidelines for those watching. The grand prize besides the trophy was a complete kit of Nike uniforms for both finalist teams.
After a day of tense matches the prize was awarded to winning home team Inferno Verde 2 who beat Fazendinha winning the tournament’s trophy as well as the award for top scorers with three of the team's players scoring three goals each.
Besides the complete kit for the two teams that reached the final (including shoes), Nike also provided slippers, caps, balls and shoes that were raffled among the boys teams participated in the tournament.
“The event was only possible because many people helped. Many companies bought the idea we take a day of peace for the Complexo do Alemão. Just have to thank. Our mission was accomplished.” explains Camilo Coelho from the NBS Rio+Rio, which organized the tournament.
This event was extremely important to the residents of O Inferno Verde who rarely see this kind of positive action from outsiders for the children here. The complex de Alemao is dealing with daily violence and action towards peace is a much needed breathe of fresh air.
“To Have an event commemorating the World Day of Peace here is like we are living a dream” celebrated Mariluce Souza, a resident of the community and one of the event organizers.
The new football pitch to replace the car-park-rubbish-dump that was previously here is a most welcome feature for O Inferno Verde but the development doesn’t stop there. With a plan to mount a soccer school for boys in this location, the event organisers are making a video with the help of ADN and Maruti Blue Productions to create a crowdfunding campaign in order to raise enough money to complete the project.