From Kenyan Refugee Camp To World Cup – How Sudanese Mabil Turned The Corner 

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qualifier – Australia v Peru – Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar – June 13, 2022Australia’s Awer Mabil celebrates after scoring a penalty during the shootout REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

It’s not difficult to find him from the group of Socceroos. His skin colour is distinct and beautiful. The story of his ascent even has more flowers to sprinkle around, but his current realities were distant possibilities many years ago.

Awer Mabil stepped up to convert one of the penalties that will take Australia to the Qatar 2022 World Cup and his energy is telling – of a man who has battled life despite his relative young years.

Born to South Sudanese parents in a Kenyan refugee camp, he is living a life that is an unrealised dream to many. After converting one of the sudden death penalties against Peru, the possibilities of representing Australia at the World Cup became rife and ripe. 

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“I knew I was going to score. It was the only way to say thank you to Australia, from me and my family, ” Mabil told reporters in Qatar.

“My family fled Sudan because of war, I was born in a hut. My hotel room here is bigger than the room we had as a family back in the refugee camp. For Australia to take us in and re-settle us, it gave me and my family a chance of life.”

Australia gave his family a shot at a decent life and he will be donning the greens and yellows of the country later in the year. He also wants his status to repaint the picture of refugees in Australia. He wants locals to believe there’s more to the African in search of peace.

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“Now I think I might have an impact on Australian football,” he said. 

“We’re going to the World Cup. I scored (the penalty), a lot of my team mates scored, we all played a part.

“And yeah, maybe that refugee kid played a big part. So that’s on behalf of my family just to say thank you to the whole of Australia.”

The Kasimpasa winger is hopeful of doing much more for Australia as the country gave him hope and is on the verge of making his biggest dreams come true. 

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