Impact Report: Changing Attitudes from Graz to Copenhagen


To date the Homeless World Cup has been a very successful means to raise awareness of issues related to homelessness and improve the image of homeless people in the eyes of general public. Interest in attending the tournament has been enormous. About 20,000 people watched the Homeless World Cup in Graz in 2003 and the stands were so full that the organisers had to erect screens so people could watch. The number of spectators has risen to around 100,000 people throughout the week in Copenhagen 2007.

From 160 spectators surveyed before watching a game at the Copenhagen 2007 Homeless World Cup, 20% admitted a negative perception of homeless people, 21% stated they had no opinion, and 58% claimed a positive view.  After watching a game their views had shifted significantly with 85% claiming a positive perception, 12% had no opinion and only 1% shared a negative view.

Media coverage around Graz 2003 changed the public attitude considerably. Street paper vendors, most of them asylum seekers from African countries, reported an atmosphere of sympathy and interaction during and post the event. In Cape Town 2006, media coverage resulted in government and city funding for street football programmes. In Russia, where homelessness is still a big taboo topic, the first Homeless World Cup national trials saw media discuss the issue of homelessness openly for the first time.

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