Arsenal in the Community help England girls reach last eight in Brazil

15:42 09 April 2014

England players at the Street Child World Cup in Brazil. Back row, left to right: Sherelle Joseph, Chloe Delaney. Front: Camille Kelly, Liya Ngalem.

England players at the Street Child World Cup in Brazil. Back row, left to right: Sherelle Joseph, Chloe Delaney. Front: Camille Kelly, Liya Ngalem.


Nine north London girls coached by Arsenal in the Community represented their country at the Street Child World Cup in Brazil this month.

The girls, from New Horizon Youth Centre, Kings Cross, helped England to the last eight of the tournament, held in Rio de Janeiro – one of the host cities for this summer’s FIFA World Cup.

England lost their first game to Mozambique 3-1, but a 0-0 draw with Nicaragua was enough to send them through to the quarter-finals, where they lost 6-0 to eventual runners-up, The Philippines.

But the tournament – in which 230 boys and girls from 19 countries took part – was not just about football. The aim was to get governments and corporations to invest in the protection of vulnerable children around the world.

All the participants of the Street Child World Cup have signed a petition calling for Brazil to adopt a national policy to protect vulnerable children, which will be delivered to the country’s government in June.

Arsenal in the Community’s Jack Ferguson, who coached the England girls, said: “For me, the football is secondary to the skills they’ve learnt in Brazil and will learn back in England.

“It’s all about supporting these young people in the next stage of their development.”

The girls also got the chance to visit famous Rio landmarks, including the famous Christ the Redeemer statue which overlooks the city, as well the Maracanã Stadium, the venue for July’s World Cup final.

A selection of players from each country also visited the Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria, where they paid their respects to eight street children who were murdered right next to the church 21 years ago.

The event was especially poignant because the captain of the Brazil boys’ team was himself shot and killed only a week before the Street Child World Cup – something that deeply affected and united everyone taking part.

According to England striker Sherelle Joseph, the tournament brought the team much closer together – and also enabled them to forge close relationships with some of the other teams, in particular Zimbabwe and Indonesia.

“When we came here we were just friends,” she said. “Now we feel like a family, because we treat each other like sisters.

“You can meet anyone from around the world who doesn’t even speak your language and still make friends.”

England won the award for friendliest team at the tournament and two of the girls have decided to return to Brazil on their gap year, as well as beginning a partnership with the Kenyan team to fundraise for a trip to Africa.

Striker Chloe Delaney, meanwhile, a lifelong Gunners fan, has set her sights on achieving a place in the starting line-up at Arsenal Ladies in the future.

The girls have clearly been inspired – so it looks as if the legacy of the Street Child World Cup has already begun.

n Follow Benjie on Twitter @benjieguy and read his blog at

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 15:33

Paddington’s Tin-Tin Ho came agonisingly close to one of the biggest victories of her career before bowing out of the European Championships in Budapest.

Yesterday, 13:57

Jared Robinson scored Haringey’s seventh and final try in his last game for the club as the Rhinos halted West London’s winning start to the season and jumped into second place in the Herts/Middlesex Division Two table.

Yesterday, 12:33

Spurs Ladies’ latest hat-trick hero Wendy Martin says the Lilywhites are benefiting from the focus they have put on their attacking play and finishing after they took their remarkable tally to 26 goals in three games.

Mon, 16:41

Saracens winger Sean Maitland has hailed Nick Tompkins’ mental strength after the 21-year-old centre scored a try and took the man of the match award against Scarlets on Saturday, having only being added to the starting line-up moments before kick-off.

Mon, 15:24

UCS Old Boys remain inside the bottom two places in Herts/Middlesex Division One after a 46-7 home defeat to London Welsh Druids on Saturday condemned them to their fourth successive defeat.

Mon, 13:01

Arsene Wenger turned 67 on Saturday, but his team failed to give him the birthday present he coveted most – three points against Middlesbrough.

Mon, 12:30

Mauricio Pochettino says Harry Winks is capable of playing in front of the back four by himself in Tottenham’s new system as the Lilywhites prepare to visit Liverpool in the League Cup tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Spurs played out their second goalless draw in the space of five days after a 0-0 tie against Bournemouth on the south coast. Here are five talking points.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now