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عربي

First South Sudanese football player signs contract in Khartoum

Hassan Faroog
For the first time since South Sudan’s independence, a South Sudanese player signed a deal with a football team in Sudan.
18.06.2012  |  Khartoum
توقيع إنتقال أتير توماس لنادي أهلي الخرطوم بمكاتب إتحاد الكرة يوم 6 يونيو 2012 في الخرطوم.
توقيع إنتقال أتير توماس لنادي أهلي الخرطوم بمكاتب إتحاد الكرة يوم 6 يونيو 2012 في الخرطوم.

On June 6, the offices of the Sudan Football Association witnessed the first transfer of a player from South Sudan to Sudan. Al-Ahly Club has managed to sign a contract with player Atir Thomas as the first foreign player.

Before joining in as a foreign player, Atir Thomas was a famous player in Sudan with his former club, al-Hilal. He was a major asset in the national team.

For this reason I have decided to join the Khartoum al-Ahly Club for a six months term.”
Atir Thomas
Following the signing ceremony, Atir Thomas made press statements, in which he said he came from Juba to Khartoum at the request of Sudan’s al-Hilal Club, but due to jammed transfers, he couldn’t sign with the Club.

An agreement has been reached between me and Al-Hilal Club officials to join the team during the major transfer season in December.” Atir explains,  for this reason I have decided to join the Khartoum al-Ahly Club for a six months term”.

Meanwhile, the player praised his new club, affirming that it is a big club and has a number of high caliber players.

Atir is one of the very few South Sudanese who can legally reside and work in Sudan.

A South Sudanese woman and her child wait at one of Haj Yussef’s camps in Khartoum for their repatriation to South Sudan, June 09.
© The Niles | Adam Abker Ali
Most South Sudanese who have not yet taken part in the IOM repatriation programme, await the decisions of the authorities about their situation.

The latest estimates show that 38,000 South Sudanese are living in makeshift conditions at departure points” around the Sudanese capital Khartoum, waiting for transport, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

We are now very concerned about the remaining returnees who were reluctant to move back to the south due to lack of transport and limited means. It’s still not clear how they will manage,” explains Latio Kudus, head of disaster management at the South Sudan Red Cross.

They are not allowed to hold jobs in Sudan, and some have been waiting to return to their home country South Sudan for over a year.