July 6 – The Homeless World Cup kicks off this Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland, with 52 teams and 500 players competing in mens and womens competitions. It concludes July 16.
The event has established itself as both a powerful annual reminder of homeless issues worldwide but also as an opportunity and a pathway for the competitors to a better and safer life. Research shows that 77% of all participants’ lives have significantly changed because of the work done by the Homeless World Cup and its partners.
The 2016 event in Glasgow is the 14th edition of the competition and follows on from the 2015 event in Amsterdam. In 2017 the Homeless World Cup will be hosted in Oslo.
“The Homeless World Cup is not about winning the cup, but about winning back control of your life,” explained Tony Higgins, FIFPro’s spokesperson on Social Responsibility. FIFPro gives out daily Fair Play Awards to players who show exceptional fairness and sportsmanship on the pitch. At the end of each of the seven match days, referees nominate a winner.
“Every player has a story, and each story will move you,” Higgins said. “With the help of the Homeless World Cup and all of its 73 partners worldwide, all these players have the prospect of a new and improved future.”
Mel Young, co-founder and president of the Homeless World Cup, said: “We believe football can be the strongest force for good. The Homeless World Cup is a pioneering global movement, based on the premise that together we can be stronger, and that is at the core of this game we love.”
Once the Glasgow tournament wraps up focus will quite quickly move to Oslo 2017 where the tournament will be held at the iconic Rådhusplassen, The City Hall Square, between Oslo City Hall and Oslo Fjord.
In Norway, the Homeless World Cup’s partner is the Salvation Army, who will host the event. The Salvation Army has been responsible for the national street football team since 2005 and has taken a team to eleven tournaments.
The Salvation Army has street football teams in Oslo, Tønsberg, Larvik, Kongsvinger, Lillehammer, Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger and Sandnes and hosts an annual national championship which involves 300 players each year.
Benjamin Brekke-Nærstad, project leader for Oslo 2017 said: “We are really pleased to welcome the Homeless World Cup to Oslo. We believe that Oslo will be a fantastic host for this fantastic event, and look forward to welcoming all the players to our beautiful city.”
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