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The value of multiculturalism in sport is undeniable, says Rohan Connolly

Australians unconvinced about the value of multiculturalism ought to spend some time watching some of our emerging soccer talents in action.

That’s the view of Rohan Connolly, who has talked about the emergence of two talents in particular, Socceroo winger Awer Mabil, and Melbourne Victory’s Elvis Kamsoba.

Of South Sudanese descent, Mabil spent the first nine years of his life living in a refugee camp in Kenya before arriving in Adelaide. Kamsoba, who recently debuted for Victory, spent his first 11 years growing up in a Tanzanian refugee camp.

Mabil, says, Connolly, “is going to be front and centre in any discussion about the Socceroos’ prospects over the next decade”. Victory fans, too, are going to be hearing a lot more about Kamsoba.

“They’re stories we’re going to hear more and more of, as people desperate for a better life head to these shores in search of opportunity most of us have been lucky to inherit simply by virtue of our birthplace”, Connolly said.

“I wonder how many of those people who were marching down at St Kilda Beach last weekend were sports fans, and whether they appreciated the irony of the very people they’d seek to prevent coming here enriching the sports they follow.”

Listen to RoCo’s full rant here: