In 1998, 10 years old Issa Abdou left Cameroon with an aim to reach Spain and start playing football in one of the best football leagues. He is now the captain of “Alma de África,” (Soul of Africa), a football team made of immigrants and Spaniards, currently playing in the third division of Andalusia’s regional league. He considers his playmates a family but struggles to find a permanent job made him wonder if he should have stayed in Cameroon.
Spain is one of the most immigrant-friendly countries in Europe, being open to accepting migrants and after Italy closed its borders for refugees, most of them turn to Spain as a destination country. However, integrating newcomers and finding them job opportunities remains a difficulty. This was partly a trigger for a 12 seats win of the anti-immigrant party Vox in the Andalusian parliament, according to the CRM the first time a far-right party made it into public office since Spain became a democracy in 1978.
Use the link below to read the full story and learn more about Issa`s journey, the current situation in Spain and how football may be a way to enhance integration of refugees into Spanish society.