The Fugees Soccer Team
In 2004 in the Atlanta suburb of Clarkston, Georgia, a group of refugee youth from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burundi, Congo, Gambia, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Somalia, and Sudan came together with their coach, Luma Mufleh, to form a recreational soccer league called The Fugees—short for “Refugees.”
Many longtime community members reacted with hostility to the newcomers. They refused access to sports fields, declaring the spaces were to be used only for baseball and football, not soccer.
In 2004 Coach Luma Mufleh, a naturalized citizen from Jordan, started a soccer team and academy for refugee children in Clarkston, Georgia. At first challenged by community leaders, Mufleh negotiated the students’ rights to play soccer on the town’s fields.