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Homeless World Cup joins 64 teams in the City of Light

 Street News Service 11 July 2019

From 21-28 August 2019, France and the City of Paris will host 64 teams – 48 teams in the Homeless World Cup and 16 all women’s teams, uniting together at the 9th Homeless World Cup. (827 Words) - By Staff writer


SNS_Homeless World Cup joins 64 teams in the City of Light

Last year the Homeless World Cup was in Rio de jjaneiro, Brazil. This year the tournament will take place in Paris, France. Photo: Eduardo de Oliveira

Over 500 players will unite on the Champs-de-Mars, in the shadow of the Eiffel tower, for the week long tournament which uses football to energise homeless people into changing their own lives.

The 64 teams will represent homeless competitors from 53 nations all over the world. Teams heading to Paris include last year's winners Brazil, India, Kenya, France, Cambodia and also Indonesia, who will be attending the event for the first time. During the tournament, the players will be demonstrating their football skills in front of an estimated 50,000 strong crowd on specially designed pitches at one of France's most iconic landmarks.

The Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup is supported nationally by Collectif 'Remise en Jeu', and Arsène Wenger, Manager of Arsenal Football Club, who is President of the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup Local Organising Committee. He joins former international professional footballers Emmanuel Petit and Lilian Thuram, as ambassadors of the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup.

Mel Young, Founder and President of the Homeless World Cup, is expecting an unprecedented level of interest in this year's tournament. He said:

"Due to the increasing impact of this global event we have received more applications than ever before from nations wishing to appear at the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup. This is a phenomenal opportunity for France and the City of Paris to unite and show the world the true power that football has to change lives.

"The Homeless World Cup exists to end homelessness. The impact of this competition is profound. It has engaged over 100,000 homeless people since it started and over 70% of participants have changed their lives for the better.  The Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup is an opportunity for homeless people to move from being invisible to stand proud on a global stage, and be the true ambassadors for their country that they are."

The Homeless World Cup is pioneering a radical level of change not seen before. 73% of players changed their lives for the better by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, reuniting with families and even going on to become players and coaches and set up social enterprises enabling other homeless people to change their situation.

Arsène Wenger, President of the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup Local Organising Committee said: "What is important for a guy who is homeless is to give him a target again in life, for him to know that when he gets up he has training. He takes a shower, has lunch and knows that he has training again the next morning.  It gives him something to think about, it gets discipline into his life again. When you lose that discipline, it becomes one of the big problems for young people. They cannot find a job because they are not shaved, not showered. Everybody rejects them, they feel on the outside, excluded."

Global Support for Paris

The Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup supporters include UEFA, United Nations, Nike, and Global Ambassador Eric Cantona and international footballers Didier Drogba, and Rio Ferdinand.

UEFA President, Michel Platini, on why they are involved with the Homeless World Cup and why more people need to be involved. 

"UEFA have partnered the Homeless World Cup since its first edition in Graz, Austria in 2003.  We share its vision of helping homeless people through football.  UEFA not only cares about football, UEFA cares about ending homelessness."

Patrick Mbue, from France is one of four Global Ambassadors for the Homeless World Cup.  Patrick arrived in France from Rwanda. He found himself in a strange country, without a work permit, and unable to earn an income he became homeless. Patrick is now a coach with top French football club and 8 times French Cup Winners Paris St Germain.

Patrick joined the football team at the homeless organisation Collectif 'Remise en Jeu' where his talent was clear and his team spirit was noted. He was soon selected to play for France at the Copenhagen 2007 Homeless World Cup.  Committed to Collectif 'Remise en Jeu' and supporting people on the margins of society he went on to become the coach for the French national Homeless World Cup team and led them to the Melbourne 2008 and Milan 2009 tournaments.  He is also the secretary of the organisation and a member of Local Organizing Committee for the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup.

Patrick said: "My participation in the Homeless World Cup brought about a profound personal change.  It allowed me to regain my self-respect to take important steps in my life and I was also able to regain a high standard of play in my game."

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