Fatima’s story: How football helped a refugee live her dream

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Football has played a vital part in the life of Fatima Hussain Ali, a 16-year-old Hamilton girl who arrived in New Zealand in 2016 with her mum and five siblings as refugees.

Within hours of landing in Auckland from Pakistan, she was kicking a ball for the first time.

“The first day, the guys were playing football and they were like, ‘You wanna come?’,” she told reporter Sacha McNeill.

Now, she plays women’s football for Melville United, turns out for the club’s U-15 boys team and has put together an all-girls Muslim team.

Her enthusiasm for the sport also brought her to the attention of television show Seven Sharp.

Reporter McNeill and the Seven Sharp crew went to Hamilton as Fatima met some of her Football Fern idols.

Main photo: Fatima gets to meet some of her Fern idols at the Unity Pitch in Hamilton.

Fatima’s story on Seven Sharp

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