Darfur United Men’s Soccer Team
The Darfur United Men’s Team began in 2012 and as a joint effort between the refugee community, iACT, the UN Refugee Agency and soccer fans. That year, the soccer team scored the Darfur community’s first international goal at Viva World Cup in Iraqi-Kurdistan. Since then, the team has been a vehicle for global awareness and a vehicle for hope and pride for the Darfur community.
This movement has brought hope and joy to the displaced people of Darfur. Darfur United has successfully inspired the Darfur people, fostered unity and cohesion among Darfuri tribes dispersed between the camps, and served as a microphone for an often voiceless and powerless community. The 2014 ConIFA World Football Cup in Sweden gave stage for the players to share their story and advocate for themselves, as the tournament reached 300 million people across 61 countries through TV, radio, and newspaper coverage and live reporting. Darfur United is a co-host of the World Unity Cup 2016 in London.
Mohammed Adam Abdallah
Joining Darfur United in 2012, Mohammed Adam has been a key player in the team’s offensive third. He’s a tough, attacking central midfielder and forward who pushes the pace from the first to the last whistle. He is not afraid to do the laborious running and tackling for the benefit of his teammates. Mohammed Adam’s favorite player is Ronaldo, earning him the nickname “Cristiano” among the team. Since coming to Sweden, Mohammed Adam enjoys going to the library and supporting local soccer teams!
Ibrahim is one of Darfur United’s pacey wing players with a determined forward-thinking mindset. His communication with his teammates makes him a threat on and off the ball, in addition to his ability to seamlessly transition from a defensive position into a quick counter-attacking opportunity. Ibrahim gained a spot on the roster in 2014 and plays for Darfur United because he “wants to help those still in Darfur…[and] to represent his country and show the world his people.”
Since his first cap in 2014, Bichara has been a threatening scoring presence against every opponent the team faces. He scored at least one goal in each game Darfur United played during the 2016 and 2017 Team Training Camps. Bichara enjoys helping with youth soccer programs in Östersund, Sweden, where he lives with other DU players. Reflecting on his participation with the team, Bichara commented, “It is a dream come true. I never thought I would be able to leave the camps.”
Abdelhamid can be found between the posts when Darfur United takes the field. His height and agility make him an intimidating figure for opponents’ attacking players. He has demonstrated possession-minded play and strong foot skills from the time he joined the team in 2014. When asked what being a member of Darfur United means to him, Abdelhamid responded, “It is my heart.”
Mubarak Khamis Ahmad
Mubarak is one of the team’s most versatile players. Since securing a place on the roster in 2012, his ability to shift easily between defensive and offensive positions has been a key to Darfur United’s success. Off the field, Mubarak’s energetic and friendly personality always has his teammates smiling! His favorite player is Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović of Manchester United.
Mohammed is one of Darfur United’s youngest players, but he has not wasted any time making an impact on the field. Earning a place on the squad during the 2016 Team Training Camp in Östersund, Sweden, his speed and tactical awareness solidified his role in Darfur United’s defensive unit. His drive and commitment to the game are strong indicators of Darfur United’s bright future! Mohammed finds his football inspiration from fellow defender Sergio Ramos.
Youssouf Abdallah Mahamat
Darfur United would not be the same without Youssouf’s calm and sturdy presence in the team’s backline since 2012. The squad only surrendered three goals during the 2016 and 2017 Team Training Camps, largely thanks to Youssouf’s defensive leadership. He is an unrivaled opponent in the air, constantly winning challenges in the 18-yard box. Since arriving in Sweden, Youssouf has enjoyed learning the Swedish language and trying the local cuisine!
Mohamed is a determined and confident winger for Darfur United. His creativity on and off the ball helps the team advance to goal, while his wicked left foot consistently allows him to play dangerous services across the box. Mohamed is another DU veteran, securing a roster spot in 2012. He enjoys giving back to his community by serving as a volunteer soccer coach!
Mohammed Abobakir Shogar
Mohammed, known as “Moka” among his teammates, made an impact as soon as he arrived at Darfur United Team Training Camp in 2017, scoring in his third cap. He has strong on-ball awareness that breaks down opponents in an entertaining style. Although slim, he is sturdy and is not one to lose on the physical side of the game. He enjoys swimming and studying the Swedish language in his free time.
Moubark Abdallah Ahmat
Moubarak is a veteran on the Darfur United squad, gaining a spot on the roster during DU’s inaugural tryouts in 2012. He is built in the style of an old-fashioned yet industrious wing player who likes to get down the line to deliver crosses and link plays. His work ethic and rapport with his teammates was recognized early on, leading to his well-deserved role as Darfur United’s team captain. When asked why he wants to be part of the team, Moubarak states that it is his obligation “to do everything he can to help the people still in the camps.”
Towering at about six feet tall, Mustapha is another player with a strong physical presence in Darfur United’s defensive unit. His tactical awareness and composure earned him a place on the squad at Team Training Camp in 2017. He often ignites DU’s offense after winning over possession from his opponent, in which his range of passing allows for unpredictable, dangerous play. Mustapha spends his free time coaching soccer, and he also plays on a D-III basketball team.
Osman Yahya Albashir
Darfur United is fortunate to have added Osman as a goalkeeper in 2017. His quiet yet attentive presence helps DU maintain a clean sheet during matches. With a slight frame, he is able to quickly make critical saves in front of the net. When asked why he wanted to be part of the team, he replied that he “wants to help others still in Darfur.”
Saddam Hissein, Abdine
Saddam has brought lightening-fast pace and an unmatchable work ethic to Darfur United since 2012. He is a staple in the midfield, constantly causing problems for opponents, thanks to his agile movements and deadly left foot. Saddam is part of the team because, he says, he “wants to be a leader” for those in Darfur. Outside of soccer, his goal is to study Information Technology at a Swedish university.
Saleh Abakar Yahya
Darfur United is lucky to have Saleh as a maestro in the center of the pitch. Since joining the team in 2012, he continues to show improvement in soccer ability and leadership. He netted Darfur United’s first ever hat-trick during a match against ÖFK Academy at the 2016 Team Training Camp. Saleh’s crafty footwork and flare are reflective of his favorite player, Neymar.