Soccer players from African countries devastated by civil war competed in the first All-Africa Amputee tournament in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in February, to bring prominence to the sport and its positive messages of triumph over immense challenges. The victors earned the right to represent Africa in the upcoming World Cup in Turkey.
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"I love sports and that's how I manage my life now," says Sheku Turay, 22, who was shot in the leg in 1999 as an innocent bystander while trying to escape the conflict area in Freetown.
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"I can keep myself involved in a good activity instead of keeping quiet, because if I sit alone and be quiet, I will think about my problem." -- Victor Musa, 23, captian of the Sierra Leone team.
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"I struggle on my own, but I want to inspire people when I play." -- Dennis Parker, 20, president of the Liberian Amputee Sports Association (LASA).
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"Amputee football shows love, peace, and unity to the international world. I got my problem during the civil war [in Sierra Leone], so that's why we came together to start our team -- to show the international people that we are the ambassadors of peace. No matter how you are in the world, you have to do something with your life." -- Mohamed Jalloh, 21.
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"I love football and I want to play my whole life." -- Iddisu Fuseini, 34, who was born with one hand and is the senior statesman of the Ghana team.
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"Don't look down on yourself. You can do anything you determine to do," -- Collins Gyemfi, 24, who lost his leg in a car accident while 15.
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"I love this sport too much." -- M'Bayo Conteh, 24, who was injured when a tree fell during a severe rainstorm when he was six.
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Liberian defender Jimmy Harris takes control of the ball in a match against Ghana.
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Ghana versus Liberia
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Ghana versus Sierra Leone
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Sierra Leone Versus Liberia
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