FIFPro and the Homeless World Cup have sealed a three-year partnership. The World's Professional Footballers Association will be supporting the less fortunate players on the planet, in a unique effort to improve their life standards.
"FIFPro is delighted to announce a partnership with the Homeless World Cup organisation for the next three years", says Tony Higgins, FIFPro's Spokesperson on Players' Social Responsibility matters.
The Homeless World Cup is a charity that supports grass-roots football programs and social enterprise development via a network of 74 national partners. It celebrates its work by organising an annual football tournament that unites teams of homeless people from countries all around the globe. In October 2014, 64 nations participated in the eight-day Homeless World Cup in Santiago, Chile. This year, from 12-19 September, 64 men and women’s teams made up of over 500 players will compete at the 13th Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Football has the power to change lives
Mel Young, Homeless World Cup President. "Since the Homeless World Cup first started in 2003, thousands of homeless and marginalised people have used football to change their lives with many finding homes, getting jobs, going into education and coming off drugs."
"We are delighted to sign a three year partnership deal with FIFPro", Young continues. "Everyone has a responsibility to create a fair world where homelessness and extreme poverty do not exist and this includes the football industry. It is superb that FIFPro has taken this initiative to demonstrate that it really cares about the world around it by partnering with the Homeless World Cup in order to create practical change in people's lives."
Higgins – a former Scottish professional footballer – states that homelessness is one of the biggest issues facing all countries in the world today. "In recent years, due to the devastating impact of the economic crisis that affected many in their every-day lives, we have witnessed a worrying increase in the number of people becoming homeless, many of them through no fault of their own , but simply because of a change in personal circumstances.
"The power of football has allowed many homeless people to transform their lives and become role models for other people facing the same plight. The ethos of the Homeless World Cup - and its preceding national tournaments - is one that sits comfortably with FIFPro."
Referring to the player union's headquarters, nearby Amsterdam, Higgins explains: "In our 50th anniversary year, the Homeless World Cup will be played in Amsterdam, which is practically the home of FIFPro. It is a perfect moment for both global organisations to highlight the tremendous challenges faced by people in our communities."
Young adding to Higgins words: "This is also a unique opportunity to show the world how effective partnerships can make a difference and hence change the world. We keep repeating that football has the power to change lives and the Homeless World Cup demonstrates this."
Together the Homeless World Cup and FIFPro will make that intervention all the more stronger and effective.
Mel Young (Homeless Word Cup) and Raymond Beaard (FIFPro)
Football and the Homeless World Cup have the power to change the lives of homeless people. Here are a few of their stories:
- Published: 03 August 2015