Diego Ibarra Sánchez

Photographer
   
Football without barriers in North Nigeria
Location: Beirut
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Diego Ibarra Sánchez 1982, Spain www.diegoibarra.com Diego Ibarra Sánchez is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Lebanon. Diego assumes a very critical stance regarding the use of images in our own society, defining... read on
Public Story
Football without barriers in North Nigeria
Credits: diego ibarra
Updated: 04/20/20
Archived as: 
Nigeria has recently reached the milestone of being polio-free for a year, however, the disease has left thousands of survivors handicapped. Although there is not a definite number on polio survivors in Nigeria, the Nigerian Association of Polio Survivors has almost a million members.

In a culture with little community support for polio survivors, para-soccer has brought joy and purpose into the lives of Nigerian polio survivors.

Created in 1988, by Nigerian polio survivor Misbahu Lawan Didi, the sport has few financial sponsors, but has spread to other countries on the continent.
Para-soccer has become a source of strength and freedom for polio survivors.  Somewhere between the ball, the skateboard and the hard ground, they have carved a space of their own.

The game is physically and mentally exhausting, and the asphalt on which they play scratches at the skin, sometimes stripping it off altogether. To play, para soccer players sits on a small wooden scooter —a twelve-inch wooden square with four swiveling wheels — which is how many polio survivors in Nigeria get around. Scooter users propel themselves forward by pushing their hands on the ground.

Para-soccer is also being used as a tool to spread awareness about polio and the importance of vaccinations. Every year on World Polio Day there is a national para-soccer championship. Through para-soccer, survivors who would otherwise be begging on the streets are able to make some money to help support their families.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/12/health/a-milestone-in-africa-one-year-without-a-case-of-polio.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/my-nigeria/2015/08/playing-pain-nigeria-football-polio-150825112325046.html




By Diego Ibarra Sánchez —

VISUAL STORY

Fear and Sport Imperil Lebanon

By Diego Ibarra — Poisoned, run over, and shot on sight, the country’s national animal finds itself threatened by frightened humans and dated myths. Fear and..
VISUAL STORY

Christians under siege: Pakistan

By Diego Ibarra — Photographed for DER SPIEGEL A ray of light bathes Ashiq Masih. He holds with his hands the portrait of his wife. She is currently at jail. On June..
VISUAL STORY

Pehlwani : the ancients mud wrestler

By Diego Ibarra — Pehlwani, an ancient style of wrestling, is struggling to survive in modern day Pakistan. Its roots may date to as far back as the 4th century B.C...
VISUAL STORY

Dispatches from Mosul

By Diego Ibarra — Mohammed looks out of the dirty back window of the Civil Defense´s ambulance.  He holds firmly the gate waiting to get outside in order..
VISUAL STORY

Factory Aftermath

By Diego Ibarra — Fire ravaged a textile factory complex at Karachi’s Gulbai area killing almost 300 workers trapped behind locked doors on September 12, 2012...
VISUAL STORY

How ISIS changed Iraqi schools

By Diego Ibarra — Iraq’s education system has been devastated by ISIS, but there’s still hope of avoiding a ‘lost generation’ How ISIS changed..
VISUAL STORY

In Shift, Pakistanis Fleeing War Flow Into Beleaguered Afghanistan

By Diego Ibarra — Through three decades of war, waves of Afghans have fled their homes along the eastern border areas, many of them seeking shelter in the Pakistani..
VISUAL STORY

Libya on tears 2011

By Diego Ibarra — After spreading the Arab Spring around the Muslim countries, also known as the Jasmine Revolution, on February 17, citizens of Libya began to face a..
VISUAL STORY

Chronicles of the monsoon

By Diego Ibarra — For EL PAIS SEMANAL Pakistan has been facing natural disasters for two consecutive years. Still reeling from last year's epic floods, Pakistan..
VISUAL STORY

Tripoli, a tale of two cities

By Diego Ibarra — Over the past eight years, 200 people have been killed in clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, according to the International Committee..
VISUAL STORY

A Superstar Televangelist in Pakistan

By Diego Ibarra — The audience erupted as Aamir Liaquat Hussain, Pakistan’s premier televangelist, darted around the television studio, firing off questions..
VISUAL STORY

The Afghan lovers

By Diego Ibarra — She is his Juliet and he is her Romeo, and her family has threatened to kill them both. Complicating matters, Mohammad Ali is a Hazara, who are..
VISUAL STORY

In Afghanistan, American Special Forces ´s Presence winds down

By Diego Ibarra — The US government has begun its gradual military drawdown in Afghanistan, bringing to an end combat operations there nearly 13 years after..
Join us
for more access