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The Long Game A co-production with Doha Debates

Using Soccer to Spread the Word About the Plight of the Rohingya

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A team of Rohingya refugees forms a soccer club in Australia and becomes a beacon of hope.

Robi Alam is a Rohingya refugee. His family fled violence and persecution in Myanmar. A decade later, Alam was born in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Life was hard in the camps, and Alam and his friends would wrap rubber bands around a wad of plastic bags and play soccer until the ball fell apart. When Alam was 10, his family emigrated to Australia, where many people have never even heard of the plight of the Rohingya. To help ease their transition, Alam and some of his fellow Rohingya started playing soccer again, informally at first in nearby parks. But their passion grew, and they formed an official club. They call themselves Rohingya United, and their goal is to raise awareness of the Rohingya issue. Now, there are Rohingya soccer teams scattered across Australia as well as in Canada, the United States, and other countries.

About The Long Game:  On The Long Game, we highlight stories of courage and conviction on and off the field. From athletes who are breaking barriers for women and girls to a Syrian refugee swimmer who overcame the odds to compete at the Paralympics, The Long Game examines the power of sport to change the world for the better. The Long Game is hosted by Olympic medalist and change agent Ibtihaj Muhammad as she guides the series around the globe to meet athletes who are fighting for change.  See All Episodes

More The Long Game episodes:

Boxing Provides a Path Out of Poverty for Girls in Pakistan

A young boxer is using the sport to change her country’s gender norms.

Soccer Opens Path to Reconciliation

A Rwandan soccer player is using the sport to promote unity and tolerance among his country’s youth.

TIBU Africa Changes Lives Through Sports

A former basketball player is changing the lives of African youth through the power of sports.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:

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