‘South Sudanese’ to play at FIFA World Cup
Awer Mabil will be the first South Sudanese-Australian to play at the FIFA World Cup.
The football player, born in South Sudan, but grew up in an IDP camp in Kenya before settling in Australia with his mother, scored the winning goal in a shootout against Peru, a goal that sent the south-western Pacific Ocean nation to the 2023 World Cup.
World Cup will be played in December in Qatar.
Mabil did not just make history for his adopted country but also became the first Australian-South Sudanese to play in the World Cup in the history of football.
He dedicated the goal to Australia for giving his family refuge after he ran away from the war in his native country.
The 26-year-old calmly scored Australia’s sixth penalty kick in Doha before goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne stop Peru’s final chance to take Australia to its fifth World Cup in a row.
Mabil grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp after his parents fled Sudanese turmoil, surviving on one meal a day and passing the time by kicking a ball about. But his football journey that started in a refugee camp, will hit its peak in December when he puts on the yellow and green colours on the biggest football stage in under five months.
Mabil who refined his football skills at Adelaide United moved to Australia in 2006.
He currently plays professional football in Denmark with FC Midtjylland.