- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

SYDNEY (AP) - Football Federation Australia will help develop soccer and life skills in children aged six to 12 in the Indian state of Kerala later this year.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the grassroots development pilot program called “Just Play” on Wednesday.

FFA said in a statement the program aims to give children a positive first experience with football while also “teaching lessons about important social issues, such as gender equality and sanitation.”

The joint venture between the Australian government, the Oceania Football Confederation, FFA, UNICEF and UEFA Foundation was established in 2009. This will be the first time the program has been implemented outside of the Pacific region.

FFA chief executive David Gallop says “combining football with an educational agenda is a compelling way to engage with vulnerable children.”

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