Glasgow to host 2016
Homeless World Cup
Over 60 teams from 51 countries are set
to compete for 14th edition of the
Homeless World Cup in Scotland.
The city's George Square will be transformed into an outdoor street football venue for the event, with three purpose built pitches with seating. Up to 64 teams from 51 countries are expected to compete for 14th edition of the tournament, which is expected to draw up to 100,000 spectators.
It will begin on Sunday, July 10 and run until the following Saturday.
"We are happy to be bringing the Homeless World Cup back to Scotland after 11 years and know Glasgow will be an amazing host city, with George Square the focal point," said Mel Young, president of the Homeless World Cup Foundation.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, and Culture Sport Glasgow to deliver what we're sure will be the biggest tournament yet.”
"What is important for me to stress is that this is significantly more than a football tournament; it's a real celebration of optimism. We will have 512 players with us, and every single one of them is at some stage of their journey towards a more stable future. Their personal stories are remarkable, often very moving, but they reflect a real sense of hope for social justice.
We want people to come to George Square in their tens of thousands this July and feel that sense of optimism and to be inspired by it. Knowing Glasgow as we do, there are surely few better places in the world to celebrate our movement."
The first Homeless World Cup was held in Graz, Austria in 2003. Over 6,000 homeless people from across the world have taken part – inlcuding several current and former Big Issue vendors representing the Home Nations.
This will be the second time the tournament has been held in Scotland, after Edinburgh hosted the HWC in 2005. Last year, Mexico were crowned both men's and women’s champions in Amsterdam.
"It’s great to offer our players, who will be selected from the many thousands who take part in our hundreds of football programmes across the country, with an opportunity to represent their country on home turf,” added David Duke (above, second from right), Founder and Chief Executive of Street Soccer Scotland, who led Scotland to the crown in 2007. “Glasgow is a great host city, and its people will open their hearts to the inspiring players from across the world.”
The above article first published on bigissue.com in 2016.