New Socceroo Awer Mabil has faced 'a lot' of racism in Australia
Australia New Socceroo Awer Mabil has faced 'a lot' of racism in Australia
- Kenya-born forward often racially abused in Adelaide
- Mabil scored on his Australia debut last month
Awer Mabil says itâs ânormalâ to be racially abused in Australia but the freshly-capped Socceroo, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, says he doesnât âjudge Australia as a racist placeâ.
âThere are certain people who are racist but itâs a country that belongs to everybody,â Mabil told the BBCâs World Football program.'A dream come true': refugees Deng and Mabil make Socceroos debuts together Read more
Mabil scored a goal on his Socceroos debut in a friendly against Kuwait last month and appears a certain squad selection for upcoming internationals against Korea and Lebanon.
The footballer and his family came to Australia in 2006 after growing up in a mud hut in a refugee camp after his mother fled civil war in Sudan. The forward said he was frequently subjected to racism in Adelaide, where his family settled.
âI have faced it a lot,â Mabil said. âOnce, when I was 16, I came home and one of my neighbours attacked me. The first thing I did was shut the front door and hide my siblings. I was talking to these guys while the door was shut, I said âgo away.â They kept saying âgo back to your own countryâ.
âApart from that, you experience day-to-day things li ke when youâre walking along the road there are people in cars beeping you and saying things. Thatâs normal.â
But Mabil, who began his top-tier football career at Adelaide United, said he was a proud Australian.
âI represent Australia because it has given me and my family the opportunity in life to have a second chance,â he said. âItâs part of me because I have lived half of my life there. I call it home so Iâm proud to represent Australia.â
Mabil was grateful for his upbringing in the refugee camp in Kakuma where he lived in a mud hut with his mother, sister and brother. âWe got food from the UN once a month ... we had one meal a day which was dinner, there was no such thing as breakfast or lunch,â he said.Daniel Arzani to undergo knee surgery and miss Socceroos' Asian Cup defence Read more
Mabil, who has launched his own foundation, Barefoot to Boots, regularly returned to Kakuma.
âI take boots, footba ll equipment and hospital equipment and donate them to the refugees,â he said. âIt was really tough [living there] but itâs something Iâm really grateful for and will be grateful for for the rest of my life.
âIt has built some mentality into my head to appreciate the good times and to not give up on my dreams.âTopics
- Australia sport
- Share on Facebook
- Share on Twitter
- Share via Email
- Share on LinkedIn
- Share on Pinterest
- Share on Google+
- Share on WhatsApp
- Share on Messenger
- Reuse this content