On June 22, 1994, the Colombian footballer Andrés Escobar shot an own goal at the World Cup in the U.S.A., sending his team home. Two weeks later, he was dead – shot by an enraged fan.
The death of the Colombian national player was the birth of the global football project “Street Football for Tolerance.” A group of Colombians wanted to be sure that their country was exporting more than drugs and violence. They decided to communicate and export life-affirming values through football.
The message of Street Football for Tolerance: Football is not a matter of life and death. Football is about fair play and fun!
Street Football for Tolerance is played in mixed teams. There must always be at least one girl and one boy on the pitch for each team.
The teams play four against four. There are no goalkeepers. Substitution is possible at any time.
A team’s goals do not count unless at least one goal was scored by a girl.
The winning team (by the number of goals scored) gets three points, the losing team one point. Teams get two points each for a draw.
In place of referees, Street Football for Tolerance uses “Teamers.” The Teamers moderate the discussion between the teams before and after the match in the “dialogue zone.”
Before the match, the teams and Teamers meet in the dialogue zone to decide on “fair play rules.” After the match, they meet again to decide how well the fair play rules were followed by each team.
Fair play points count toward the final result.
A team that follows all the fair play rules receives two points. If not all rules were followed, the team receives one point. A bonus point may be awarded for especially sportsmanlike behaviour.