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On the Sideline

Alexia Webster/Twenty Ten

Location: South Africa

“They say the World Cup is for the whole of Africa but its not true, its just for South Africans, us refugee’s aren’t given a chance.” Richard Nifasha.

Richard Nifasha is a refugee from Burundi who, before fleeing violence in the country, played football in the Burundian national team. Then went on to play professionally in Tanzania for a number of years before coming to South Africa in 2005 hoping to be discovered by one of the world’s top teams. Even though he trains everyday with other aspirant soccer players, South African laws prohibit foreign nationals from playing in local clubs unless they have work permits so Richard, with only refugee papers, has been unable to play in any of the country's professional teams. Richard is a qualified teacher but is unemployed and spends most days cutting hair when there are extra clients at a friends barber shop.

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