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Gambian National Goalkeeper Dies Crossing the Mediterranean Sea

Banjul, November 9 (RHC)-- Fatim Jawara, the goalkeeper of Gambia's national women's soccer team, died in the Mediterranean Sea as she was trying to reach Europe, the country’s football association has confirmed.  Jawara’s family also confirmed her death which occurred last month when the makeshift boat she was traveling in capsized while crossing from Libya to Europe. 

The 19-year-old player was part of the Gambia squad that were at the Under-17 World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2012 and her senior debut for the national team came against a team from Glasgow a year ago. 

"She will be remembered for saving a penalty kick in a friendly encounter involving the national soccer team and the Glasgow Girls from Scotland," according to the president of Gambia Football Association, Lamin Kaba Bajo. 

Jawara is one of the hundreds of thousands of people attempting to migrate to Europe by boat fleeing poverty, violence and armed conflicts.  The International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 3,300 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea this year. 

Last year, more than one million people reached Europe via the Mediterranean, but crossings so far this year remain below 330,000.  According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, this equates to one death for every 269 arrivals last year.  In 2016, the likelihood of dying has spiraled to one in 88.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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