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Spotlight on France

France's Asylum seekers form football club

Audio 10:13
The team trains every Friday in the Mermoz district in Lyon.
The team trains every Friday in the Mermoz district in Lyon. Laura Tangre

Asylum seekers in the city of Lyon in south east France have formed their own football club, backed by the local branch of the Secours Catholique charity. Some were professional players in their home countries before war and political conflict drove them to seek exile in France. 

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The men, mainly from Africa and eastern Europe,  don’t know if they’ll be allowed to stay. But their coach, himself an asylum seeker from Cote d'Ivoire, is giving them a reason to look to the future.

He's organising the Cup of Hope - a tournament between teams of asylum seekers and local charities.

RFI produced a web-documentary (in French) on the club in which some of the players share their harrowing stories and ambitions for the future.

Reporting in today's programme is by Daphné Gastaldi.

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