Tibetan soccer girls land in Vancouver to actually play the game this time and it a huge thanks to Canada for standing up with the girls representing a nation under extreme repression. The Tibet Women’s Soccer team has landed in Vancouver as scheduled to play in the Vancouver International Soccer Festival from July 7, representing Tibet.
“The team made it through immigration without any problem and is in Vancouver. Extremely emotional moments. Thank you Canada.” published the post on the team’s official Facebook page. While the manager of the team Cassie Childers Ryle wrote on her Facebook “Best moment of my life… the team made it through immigration and in Vancouver. We already won”.
The Tibetan soccer girls’ dream to participate in international tournaments had a rough ride right from the beginning. They were denied US visa earlier this year when they were all set to participate in the Dallas Cup in Texas, United States. 14 young girls aged between 15-20, all living in refugee in Nepal and India were told that they did not have a proper reason to take US visa and their dreams were shattered.
However, the team’s administration did not back down! They hosted their own tournament in India following that incident and now they are in Canada to play in VISF international soccer tournament. Despite the VISF reported that the Canada Soccer was exerting certain scrutiny over including Tibet as a participant, the VISF chief decided to cut its ties with the superiors to let the Tibetan girls play in the tournament.
“VISF’s core values are inclusion, respect and equality and by asking for a list of [the Tibetan players] while not requiring a list of all of our participants does not align with our values,” said Adri Hamael, announcing the tournament would go ahead, albeit without Canada Soccer Association sanctioning. However, the CSA chief informed that there is ‘nothing nefarious’ going on with the incident.
The girls reportedly expressed that its like a dream come true for them to have actually arrived in Canada to play in their debut international tournament. Tibet will be playing against Canada in the opening match of the tournament on July 7.