Glasgow is to host the 14th edition of the Homeless World Cup this July. Teams and visitors from around the globe will travel to the Scottish city’s George Square, which will be transformed into a street #Football venue for the competition. Defending champions Mexico will no doubt be keen to retain their title but should have stern opposition from the host nation and the rest, as around 500 international players are expected to feature during the contest.
Recent memories of Commonwealth Games
The city is no stranger to hosting top class sporting action of course, with the Commonwealth Games of 2014 no doubt still lingering vividly in many Scots’ minds. Although on a far smaller scale, the Homeless World Cup Foundation’s (HWCF) main event should still have plenty to keep the locals entertained.
George Square transformation
Logistically, the tournament - open to men and women of no fixed address - will run over seven days from 10th July. To facilitate the matches, George Square will be transformed into three football pitches and seating will need to be provided for spectators for the duration. With entry being free of charge and no prior ticket booking being required, an estimated 100,000 spectators are expected to enjoy the #Festivities.
It will be the first time that Glasgow has taken on the challenge of being the hosts, since the competition began in 2003 in Graz, Austria. Near neighbours Edinburgh have hosted the tournament before though in 2005.
With 51 countries entered and 64 teams in total competing, whoever comes out on top will have truly earned their right to be called World Champions. The Scots will be hoping to be among the main contenders, having claimed the men’s title in both 2007 and 2011.
Mexico to repeat success?
Mexico celebrated double delight in Amsterdam in 2015, lifting both the men’s and women’s titles. However, the history of the competition suggests that many countries are capable of coming out on top, including some nations that typically do not enjoy much success in the FIFA World Cup event. Africa nations Kenya and Zambia have won the women’s title previously, whilst on the men’s side Ukraine and Afghanistan have both toasted their success in the past.
‘Celebration of optimism’
In the build up to the competition, the president of the HWCF, Mel Young has spoken of the purpose behind the contest, referring to it as “more than a football tournament - it's a real celebration of optimism.” In terms of the players involved, he spoke of “their journey towards a more stable future” with the event playing a part in that progression. #Society