Zambia’s poor in rare World Cup television viewing

By Chris Mfula

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Over 10,000 poor young Zambians and Angolan refugees in the soccer-crazy country’s remote areas will watch some of the World Cup matches in South Africa live on specially mounted huge flat screens, a UN agency said on Friday.

UNICEF spokesman Patrick Slavin said large open-air screens and projectors had been set up in western Zambia to enable refugees and young people without access to electricity and television sets to watch some of the live broadcasts of matches in South Africa.

“More than 10,000 young people in remote parts of Zambia who are passionate about football will be accorded the opportunity to watch the World Cup games on big screens,” Slavin told Reuters.

Slavin said the public viewing places would also be used to provide the viewers with information about education, health, child protection and HIV/AIDS, one of major problems affecting the poor southern African country.

“The young people will be encouraged to do more than just watch the games,” he said.

Slavin said the project dubbed, “the World Cup in My Village,” would also be implemented in Mongu, some 600 km west of Lusaka.

Zambia, which has never been to the World Cup, missed out on the opportunity to be one of African countries at the first World Cup on African soil, when it was pipped for a qualification place by Algeria during the qualifiers.

Slavin said the UN refugee agency UNHCR was helping organize the screening of the games in Mayukwayukwa refugee camp about 500 km west of Lusaka but the funding had been provided by

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