ABOUT THE HOMELESS WORLD CUP
What is the Homeless World Cup?
Co-founded by Mel Young from Scotland and Austrian Harald Schmied, who came up with this idea following a conference about homelessness in 2001. They wanted to change the lives of homeless people through football. The first Homeless World Cup football tournament took place in Graz in 2003.
Now, the Homeless World Cup works with and supports a network of 70 international partner organisations whose goal is to improve the lives of the people using football as the catalyst. With the main role to unite these organisations and to provide support and guidance in football and management skills to help grow and develop sustainable programmes to involve and positively impact the lives of more homeless and excluded people around the world.
At the annual Homeless World Cup tournament the International Partners come together to showcase their work to the world and give their people an opportunity to demonstrate how football has the power to change lives.
When is the next Homeless World Cup football tournament?
The Poznan 2013 Homeless World Cup will take place from 10-18 August 2013.
Why have a Homeless World Cup?
To end homelessness. There are one billion homeless people in our world today. In the USA there are 3.5 million homeless people. Here each person costs society around $60,000 a year to be homeless. It costs $40,000 per year for one place in an emergency shelter in New York.
The Homeless World Cup exists to end this so everybody has a home, a basic human need. Using football as a trigger to inspire and empower people who are homeless to change their own lives by inspiring and supporting grass roots football projects working with homeless and socially excluded people all year round; and by running a world-class, international football tournament for homeless people every year.
77% of players participating go on to change their lives. Sport has the power to change lives, to change the world.
Who's hosted the Homeless World Cup tournament?
First there was Graz, Austria in 2003; Gothenburg, Sweden in 2004; Edinburgh, Scotland in 2005; Cape Town, South Africa in 2006 and Copenhagen, Denmark in 2007, Melbourne, Australia in 2008, Milan Italy in 2009; Rio, Brazil in 2010, Paris, France, in 2011 and Mexico City, Mexico in 2012. This year the tournament is in Poznan, Poland. anniversary.
How does the Homeless World Cup make a difference?
Following their participation to the annual event, a huge percentage of the players significantly improved their lives through employment, housing, education and/or drug/alcohol treatment programs. Some players have gone on to become semi professional or professional footballers or coaches. 94% of players said the Homeless World Cup had a positive impact on their lives.
Football is a great leveller, it connects people and is a universal sport for everyone. The Homeless World Cup is able to change the scenery, challenge stereotyping and people who have been spat at the week before are cheered by thousands and treated as soccer heroes during the tournament. The feeling of belonging, challenge of working in a team, regaining a health- oriented attitude towards life, self esteem and last but not least the experience of fun is a powerful combination to change a person's live.
Who competes in the tournament?
More than 500 players from 64 Nations around the globe attended the annual Homeless World Cup event in Paris. It is both men and women over the age of 16 years. However, this is the tip of the ice-berg. Each country stages national trials that involve hundreds of homeless people training for a period of time sufficient for them to make changes to their lives. It is estimated that 50,000 people benefit from pre-tournament training and trials and over 200,000 players benefiting since the beginning.
How are players selected for the tournament?
Each player must have been homeless at some point after the previous tournament in accordance with the national definition of homelessness. Alternatively, they make their main income as a street paper vendor; or are asylum seekers; or are currently in drug or alcohol rehabilitation and have been homeless at some point in the past two years. Players can participate in only one edition of the football event. There is the option to remain involved by applying to take on an assistant coaching role when available.
Each country puts the word out on the street to invite people to try out for the national team. For example through adverts in their street papers, through posters and notice boards in hostels and housing organisations. Players attend their national trials where they are provided with coaching, training. Players are selected for the final team and to represent their country according to level of commitment they demonstrate.
How is it played?
The annual tournament takes place over a period of seven days, with more than 200 14-minute games played. Special stadiums are built on the streets with play taking place on an enclosed street-surfaced court. Winners progress into winners brackets to play for the final Trophy and the remaining teams continue to play for other trophies. Each player leaves the tournament with a medal.
What do Homeless World Cup Players win?
Players win the opportunity to represent their country; and travel to another nation to compete in the tournament. But more important is that they receive a once in a life time opportunity to change their lives. They acquire self-esteem, pride, passion and the tools and strength to better one's own life.
How many people attend the event?
This rises each year up when in Edinburgh between 50-60,000 people attended during one week. In Cape Town this grew to over 100,000 people, which was repeated in Melbourne 2008. In addition, thousands of people log on to the web to follow live.
What size is the pitch?
22 (long) x 16 (wide) metres.
What size is the ball?
Regulation football size.
How long are the matches?
7 minutes each way, 14 in total.
How many players are in a team?
There are 8 players, 4 players are on the pitch at anyone time. 1 goalkeeper and 3 field players.
What are the match rules?
Detailed rules can be found here.
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