Arsenal’s German international midfielder Mesut Ozil on Wednesday visited a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, kicking a ball around with the children, signing autographs and handing out football shirts.
Ozil, who was invited to the desert kingdom by Prince Ali, a half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II and who ran but failed to be elected president of FIFA, said he was “full of emotion” at making the visit.
Zaatari camp, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of the capital Amman, is home to some 80,000 refugees from the brutal war in neighbouring Syria.
Prince Ali issued a statement praising his “friend” Ozil as “a source of inspiration for many people”.
“I’ve seen with my own eyes how football can be a positive force for young refugees,” he said.
Ozil, who is lined up to play in this summer’s Euro 2016 tournament, also took part in a training session at an Amman stadium for Jordan’s under-17 girls team competing in a World Cup for their age group to be held in the Arab state from September 30 to October 2