As well as being the most popular sport in Europe and a great source of entertainment, football can also be a vector of integration or reintegration into society. UEFA has been a partner of the Homeless World Cup since its founding, as both organisations share the same values of equality, diversity, and inclusion, and the will to promote them further.
What's in store for this year's tournament?
This year, Amsterdam will welcome the Homeless World Cup and 74 participating countries from 12 to 19 September. Tuesday 15 September will be UEFA Respect Day.
Mel Young, CEO of the Homeless World Cup, said: "
Respect Day is one manifestation of our partnership with UEFA. It's something we do together to show the wider society how you can overcome issues of intolerance and exclusion. It focuses attention on, and is a celebration of, the work that's going on all year round. It shows how together we can create a better society."
A week of competition and celebration is ahead of us, with the Dutch King attending the opening ceremony, along with many VIPs and sponsors, and a plethora of activities taking place. The fixtures for the first stage of the tournament have also been revealed.
The spirit of the Cup
The Homeless World Cup was founded in 2001 with a mission to 'change the lives of homeless people through football'. Sixteen teams took part in the first edition, with more teams taking part in every subsequent competition. Now, with 100,000 homeless people getting involved each year, the tournament makes significant changes to the lives of many.
The true number of homeless people worldwide is somewhere between 100 million and one billion, depending on the exact definition used. Most people who fall into homelessness can be assisted with advice, access to mainstream activities, and improvement of self-esteem and relationships. In that sense, football has the power to help change people's lives.
Testimonies from players
Listen to testimonies from young homeless football players.
2015 video teaser
Watch the video teaser for the 2015 edition.
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