First ever Dwarf Copa America World Cup tackles prejudice
The first Dwarf Copa America World Cup has started in Buenos Aires with the goal of using football to tackle social prejudices.
Teams from Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, the US, Canada, Paraguay, Peru, and Bolivia are taking part in the continental tournament with Morocco joining the line-up by special invitation.
The tournament runs from October 23 to 29.
"We belong to the most discriminated against group in the world. We have managed to change that, to show what we are capable of -- to play football, to work and to study," said Facundo Rojas, captain of Argentina.
Brazilian team member Oromar Miranda said: "For years, we never even dreamed we would be playing an official football match one day, so it is very important for us."
Matches are played on indoor pitches with teams of seven-a-side. Goal posts are smaller: 1.70-meter high and 2.0-meter wide, against 2.44 meters and 7.32 meters for traditional full-size goals.
Argentina's football idol and Barcelona superstar Leo Messi has taken note of the new tournament, according to Diego Serpentini, who is playing for Argentina.
"I was able to meet Leo Messi and he said he had heard good things about the tournament. If he has heard about it, it means the tournament is generating a lot of interest," Serpentini said.