We are showcasing the fantastic work of our friends Goal Click. Here is a little bit about them and what they are up to.
Goal Click was created in 2014 as a new global football anologue photography project. The ambition of Goal Click is to find one person from every country in the world and send each of them one disposable analogue camera. The photographers take photos that symbolise football in their country, leading to a football photography exhibition and creating a unique football community.
The project aims to show football’s similarities and differences around the world, the issues, the passion and emotions it creates and the way football can unite people in unstable parts of the world. Goal Click is now officially active in over 50 countries.
You can see the previous features on Iraq, India, Sierra Leone and Serbia here
Our Australian Goal Click photos come from Chris Round, a professional photographer from Sydney. His photos give a view from the heart of the stands of Sydney FC, who play in the top division of Australian professional football – the A-League. Chris spent time up close with the famous Sydney FC supporters group “The Cove” to show the passion of the Sydney fans and the intense atmosphere they create at a match.
Quotes from Chris Round
The Cove is the northern end of Sydney FC’s home ground, the Allianz Stadium in Moore Park. It is home to the passionate local Sydney FC fans that go there religiously week in, week out, like the terraces of the past in England. The A-League has been running for about a decade now - I chose The Cove because it is a well known group and is a good sign of how developed Australian professional football is now. The A-League has been quite successful and it has got a good core group of supporters in a number of different cities across Australia. With so many different backgrounds they have certainly adopted some of the continental European style of supporting. Big flags like you see in Italy and Serie A, loudhailers and flares that are more Eastern European.
I was very happy with the photo of the guy in mid song with the loudhailer. It has the flare of the floodlights beaming back and it was an overcast day. A lot of my landscape work is with overcast skies. He is a pretty interesting character. He looks like he’s going to beat the crap out of anyone, but he’s actually quite funny and he has got some ironic songs, even when Sydney FC had a goal scored against them.
The pockets of cultural following are still great. There is a lot of European background with third generation immigrants into Australia. Their children and grandchildren are now watching and the younger audience is bringing their parents and family friends. It is certainly more of a family atmosphere, although not so much in The Cove!
The Goal Click Egyptian photographer is Passant Mehwad, a football coach and player for the Egypt women’s national football team. Passant is a coach with the Premier Skills programme, an international partnership between the English Premier League and British Council that has operated in 29 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Passant took her photos in the streets of Helwan, a deprived area of Cairo, as well as during Premier Skills training sessions.
Quotes from Passant Mehwad
Some of these photos show a poor young girl playing football with other boys in the street. I wanted to show that football does not discriminate - it is for everyone, not only the rich. They show that the poor can play football even if they have nothing, and that football exists even if people cannot see it or do not want to see it. I wanted to convey that football is played everywhere, especially in deprived areas where football is like oxygen to people.
Football is the most loved and watched sport in Egypt, which gives us the opportunity to benefit the community and to reach more people. I believe that sport can correct people’s behaviour in general. However it is a double-edged sword, as football can be used to unite people for the benefit of their country or can be used to create chaos.
When I started playing football it was considered a very weird thing for a little girl to play football in the street. When I turned 10 I joined the Egyptian national team, as there were no clubs at that time. I was the youngest member of the team! I am still the only female football player in my family and even in the area where I grew up.
At first people in Egypt rejected the idea of a girl playing football, making fun of her and underestimating her capabilities. But when they start watching her play they understand how capable she is. Society is now more open-minded than before, due to initiatives like Premier Skills.
Football is now played everywhere, not only in clubs but also in schools and universities so it has become a normal thing. In the working class districts more people are still against women playing football due to customs and traditions that make people think football is for boys only. However, when my colleague Fayza Haider and I started our project we were able to convince almost 50% of the parents to let their girls play football.