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MEXICO: Guerreros Aztecas - Mexico's first amputee soccer team

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Salvador Avendaño Vasquez, a player from Guerreros Aztecas, controls the ball during a soccer game with Los Dragones (“the Dragons”) in Mexico City, Mexico on July 5, 2014. Salvador Avendaño Vasquez, 25, lost his left leg in a car accident in may 2010. He joined the team in 2012. Until his accident, he sold fruit and vegetables. He now runs a street stall. Guerreros Aztecas (“Aztec Warriors”) is Mexico City’s first amputee football team. Founded in July 2013 by five volunteers, they now have 23 players, seven of them have made the national team's shortlist to represent Mexico at this year's Amputee Soccer World Cup in Sinaloa this December. The team trains twice a week for weekend games with other teams. No prostheses are used, so field players missing a lower extremity can only play using crutches. Those missing an upper extremity play as goalkeepers. The teams play six per side with unlimited substitutions. Each half lasts 25 minutes. The causes of the amputations range from accidents to medical interventions – none of which have stopped the Guerreros Aztecas from continuing to play. The players’ age, backgrounds and professions cover the full sweep of Mexican society, and they are united by the will to keep their heads held high in a country where discrimination against the disabled remains widespread. (Photo by Bénédicte Desrus)