Refugees & Street Paper Vendors Take the Pitch for Team Switzerland 2016

One of the fans’ favourite players of the tournament was Swiss goalkeeper Ruedi Kalin, whose long hair hasn’t been cut in a decade. He promised a barber at home that cutting it can be her final trim before she retires – in another 10 years – so he proudly sported flowing grey locks in Glasgow.

The team also continued their tradition of bringing handmade scarves to give to opponents and new friends at the event.

The team, which included refugees and street paper vendors, faced stiff competition. They found themselves competing for the Men’s Globe in the final round, the fifth tier of the men’s competition. On the final day, they finished in 38th place overall.

Team Switzerland 2016 (Men’s)

Name Role
David Möller Coach
Günther Rothenfluh Coach
Ruedi Kälin Player
Raphael Garot Player
David Aellen Player
Burhan Akkaya Player
Eric Nde Player
Filmon Brhane Player
Matthias Steiner Player
Kiril Stojcer Player


Since 2003, Surprise Strassenfussball have been reintegrating socially disadvantaged people into Swiss society. Eighteen teams compete in four national tournaments of the Swiss street football league. Teams must be composed of socially disadvantaged adults with a coach and a manager. Players are often street paper vendors, affected by mental illness, unemployed people, seeking asylum, or suffer from substance abuse.