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February 10, 2014 | Africa: Malawi

African Football Legends Lacing Up for Special Olympics Malawi Unified Football Invitational

By Lynn Aylward

Ellis strikes

Legends from the South African national men’s and women’s soccer teams are lacing up their boots and discussing tactics with their teams for the Special Olympics Malawi Unified Football Invitational that will be held in Lilongwe, Malawi on Sunday, 9 February. The South Africans --Desiree Ellis, Mark Fish, and Phil Masinga—have issued an amicable challenge to players from the Malawian National Football Team, and the friendly rivals will of course be joined on the pitch by Special Olympics athletes from Malawi. Special Olympics Communications Manager Ancilla Smith briefed the Malawian and South African press last week, resulting in coverage in Malawi’s Daily Times. The game will kick off the African Leaders Forum on Disability that will be held the day after the football match in Lilongwe. The match and the Forum are being co-hosted by Malawi President Joyce Banda and Special Olympics in order to challenge the severe discrimination and hugely unequal access to social services that people with intellectual disabilities face.

About Lynn Aylward: I work in communications for Special Olympics.

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