The Homeless World Cup is a world-class, annual, international football tournament that uses football as a catalyst to encourage homeless people to change their lives; and to change the attitudes of governments, media, public and key influencers to create better solutions to homelessness around the world.
The global event unites teams of people who are homeless to take an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent their country in an unique street soccer tournament. It has triggered and supports grass-roots football programs in over 70 nations and involved 50,000 people.
The Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup takes place in August followed by the Mexico 2012 Homeless World Cup. The inaugural Homeless World Cup kicked off in Graz, Austria, uniting 18 nations. Since then it has gained great momentum in Gothenburg, Sweden (2004), Edinburgh, Scotland (2005), Cape Town, South Africa (2006) and Copenhagen, Denmark (2007) and it united 56 nations in Melbourne (2008) which included the first Women's Cup before going to Milan (2009). The 2010 Homeless World Cup took place in Rio de Janeiro last September.
Research consistently demonstrates that over 70 per cent of players experience a significant life change. They come off drugs and alcohol, move into homes, jobs, education and training, repair relationships and even become coaches and players.
Founded by world-leading social entrepreneur Mel Young, the Homeless World Cup is supported by UEFA, Nike, Global Ambassador Eric Cantona and international footballers Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand.