ARSENAL

Arsenal extend a hand to Iraqi children through football

Children trying to escape the war in Iraq are being taught football by Arsenal coaches as the  club tries to bring some joy to the troubled country.

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Arsenal extend a hand to Iraqi children through football

Children trying to escape the war in Iraq are being taught football by Arsenal coaches as the Premier League club tries to bring some joy to the troubled country.

The conflict has forced more than three million people to leave their homes in Iraq since January 2014 and half of those are children. But Arsenal are using their vast wealth and global brand in a bid to create happiness amid the suffering.

Alex Scott, Arsenal Ladies' captain, flew out to teach children the basics of the sport when she visited Alwand One camp in Kurdistan, northern Iraq, which is home to more than 6,000 displaced people. Arsenal, through the club's Foundation, have teamed up with Save the Children to build pitches at the camps and 2,500 children have already used them.

Visiting Iraq and helping the children was a life-affirming experience for Arsenal Ladies captain Alex Scott

The Gunners have also sent a coach who has taught Save the Children's in-camp staff the club's training programme. “When I was playing in a metal football cage in the east end of London, with the A12 on either side, football was more than a game and it's given me so much,” Scott told the BBC. “That's when I dreamed of playing for England and playing for Arsenal. That football cage was my Wembley. So football isn't just a game, you can impact people's lives.”

Read more about the Arsenal Football project in Iraq here: