The new president of South Sudan’s Football Association Francis Amin believes he can use the game to unite Africa’s youngest nation that has been torn apart by waging conflict between government military and rebels.
Amin told the BBC that his priorities included developing the administration of the game, taking South Sudanese football to an African or even world level, and improving refereeing, coaching, women’s football and pitches around the country.
“I’m trying to use football as a tool to unite the people of South Sudan; football can bring them together as one,” said Amin.
I'm trying to use football as a tool to unite the people of South Sudan; football can bring them together as one
Amin was elected the new president of the South Sudan Football Association (SSFA) in June 15 elections in Juba. He garnered 22 votes out of 34 to ward off competition from his two challengers Lual Maluk Lual and Arop Joh Aguer.
Amin acknowledged that the economic challenges facing his nation are huge, but is hopeful of getting assistance from Fifa and the Confederation of African Football.
South Sudan slipped into civil war in 2013, just two years after becoming independent from Khartoum, and some 4 million people – around one third of the population – have fled to neighboring countries or to pockets of relative safety.
The conflict, ignited by a feud between President Salva Kiir and Machar, has resulted in ethnic cleansing between the leaders’ respective Dinka and Nuer communities.
However, an escalation of fighting since last July that forced Machar to flee the country a month later has seen clashes spread to previously unaffected areas.