FIFA-endorsed project tells extraordinary tales of ordinary people

An online media room designed specifically for journalists worldwide has been launched to help bring to public attention Football's Hidden Story - extraordinary stories of ordinary people whose lives have been transformed through the power of football.

http://footballshiddenstory.mediaroom.com

These are dramatic stories of hope and courage; inspiration and reconciliation; emotional stories seen through a personal, human perspective. Many individuals and organisations are using football successfully as a tool to achieve positive social change and development. In 2005, FIFA - together with streetfootballworld - founded the "Football for Hope Movement" to support them. In this spirit of "making the world a better place through football", FIFA is also endorsing the Football's Hidden Story" project.

A comprehensive media service
The media room provides journalists with professionally written editorial material and superb photographs, from which they can create their own coverage.

Eventually there will be 26 features. Those coming up soon include:

• Bridging the Divide: Alon Liel is the motivator behind the first mixed Arab-Israeli football club, which has just played a historic match with the first Syrian-born football team ever to play in Israel.

• One Game, One Family: Valeriu Niciolae, a Romanian gypsy, has fought racism by pressuring the Romanian government and football authorities to stop vile anti-gypsy chanting and abuse.

• Top of the World: Mahendra BK was one of Nepal's 5,000 street children, but was rescued by an orphanage which specialises in football.

Stories from around the world
Other stories now available include Liberia - How amputee football has liberated the victims of civil war; Colombia - The Colombianitos encourage children of guerrillas and drug-runners to attend school via football training; Scotland - A one-time homeless alcoholic started to play street football and last year managed Scotland to win the Homeless World Cup England - A former jailbird who went on to become an English Premiership player, now trains and mentors troublesome teenagers;. South Africa - Grassroots Soccer teaches children how to protect against HIV/AIDS;

Become a priority journalist
The stories are in English and outstanding high resolution still images for each story are available for members of the media to download. Journalists can also apply for a password to receive stories ahead of general release. This will enable them to plan ahead, research and add a local angle to any story or rewrite it in their own style or language.

For further information, please contact
Football's Hidden Story Information Office
Caroline Gillies
Tel. +44 (0)1628 627613
press@footballshiddenstory.com