Haider Firas did not dream of playing football after he was injured at the age of five due to a disease that affected his left foot, and as a result his foot was disabled, and with grace, a smile and a cheerful spirit, Haider Firas, 13 years old, moves on metal crutches in the middle of the field, receiving the ball and aiming it towards the goal.
Haider participates in a football match organized by the Iraqi Red Crescent for amputees, a football favourite, he became the youngest player in the amputee team.
The Iraqi Red Crescent held a football championship for amputees within the program (Union through the power of football) with the support of the International Federation of Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies.Football contributes to the rehabilitation of people with special needs in the community, and through these initiatives, confidence is restored to these players.
Ali Muhammad, 22, raises his head proudly, saying, “His life has begun again.” Today, the picture has changed to another form, and we have become an example to follow in steadfastness, challenge, and achievement of goals.
The outlook has changed from one of compassion and humanity to one of sports and one of appreciation and encouragement, and we do everything that the bad people do.
He joined the national team and practiced sports and training camps inside and outside the country. He represents the Iraqi national team for amputees currently in goalkeeping. He says: “A new life began when the Iraqi Red Crescent gave me the opportunity to realize my dream of playing football again, and this is the first tournament we participate in, It was set up by the Iraqi Red Crescent.
Ali will participate with his team in the final match after several rounds, and confirms, “The outcome of the match does not matter as much as his performance on the field, and the spread of the spirit of love among everyone.”
The game of football contributes to the development of the physical and muscular structure of persons with disabilities, as well as delivering a message of steadfastness, challenge and determination.
In Diyala, a tournament for people with special needs was held at the Al-Katoon Forum stadium in Baqubah district. It included a variety of games for people with special needs, including (volleyball, tennis, fencing, wrestling for the blind, and football for the deaf and dumb), in which a number of sports teams from different districts of the governorate participated.