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Amputee Football Mourns the Loss of
Rev. Robert Mawlue Karloh

Rev. Robert Mawlue Karloh, President of the Amputee Football Federation of Africa, has passed away.

Rev. Karloh was a tireless supporter of amputee football throughout western Africa and saw the sport as both a vehicle for giving new meaning and status to the lives of the region's disabled, and also as a force of reconciliation to heal the wounds of civil warfare and tribal conflict.

Football for reconciliation

Karloh became involved in the African amputee football movement through his work as deputy director of disarmament after Liberia's lengthy civil war.

For him the success and popularity of the players is not only a form of social work but also a feature in national reconstruction.

"The amputee status is a stigma," he said. "There is a tendency for people to reject these men who fought the war that tore the country apart.

"Now everybody comes along to see them play football and cheer for them. It sends a message: 'I have forgiven you.' It's a form of healing.

"For example," he added with a smile, "we have people who fought against each other now playing on the same side."

It was through Rev. Karloh's work that the first All Africa Amputee Soccer Tournament in 2007. That tournament launched a new world-wide awareness of amputee football and its players.

 
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