After losing their opening match to Ireland, Lithuania won their next six matches to earn a spot in the Men’s Plate. A penalty win over Denmark in their final game landed them in 15th place overall.
Coach Stasys Pranevicius is on his 11th trip to the Homeless World Cup. “I took my first team in 2006 and I took a picture of this team,” he explained. “Today, I can look at this picture and say no one in this team has had a drink to this day. That’s why I know this works. Ten years sober, including me.”
The team is organized by FK Feniksas (FC Phoenix) who use the power of football to help people who suffer from substance abuse integrate back into society.
Team Lithuania 2016 (Men’s)
FK Feniksas was established in 2006. Since then, they have successfully taken part in many international street football tournaments. They also run a national street football league, which is supported by the Lithuanian Football Association.
Association FK Feniksas closely cooperate with Kaunas Archdiocese Family Centre and support children who are orphans or who live in families struggling with alcoholism. In 2014, they made a documentary called “Alcofootball” about football for people with substance abuse issues in Vilnius to help raise awareness of their approach.