Players experiencing homelessness and social exclusion will now have the opportunity to represent England at future competitions under the Homeless World Cup banner.
The Homeless World Cup is a global annual event, with both men’s and women’s competitions taking place in an elected host nation. Previous tournaments have taken place in iconic locations such as Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, under the Eiffel Tower in Paris as well as other major cities like Melbourne, Amsterdam and Mexico City.
The format for the tournament is four-a-side games lasting 14 minutes each. There is a group stage and knockouts with massive crowds packed around small-sided artificial pitches. Over 50 nations are represented at each tournament, with over 500 players taking part. Of those participating:
94% Say the Homeless World Cup positively impacted their lives
83% Improved social relations with family and friends
77% Changed their lives significantly because of their involvement in football
71% Continue to play the sport