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More than 500 footballers – male and female – are readying themselves for the 2015 Homeless World Cup, where they take the pitch and prove themselves as representatives of their countries while aiming for the top trophy.

Homeless World Cup partner FIFPro knows there is more at stake. The tournament is about much more than winning; it is about homeless and socially marginalized people working together to reclaim their places in society. To emphasise this goal, FIFPro and the Homeless World Cup will be presenting a Fair Play Award.

During each game, referees will make note of players who display exceptional fairness and sportsmanship. At the end of each of the eight days of play, the referees will come together to choose who will receive that day’s FIFPro Fair Play Award. He or she will become a member of the tournament’s Fair Play World 8, who will be officially presented and celebrated on the final day of the Homeless World Cup. To illustrate the importance of solidarity during this event, both the winners and their teammates will receive special gifts from FIFPro and the Homeless World Cup.

“Having been a player myself, I know how important winning can be,” said Tony Higgins, FIFPro’s Spokesperson on Social Responsibility. “However, the Homeless World Cup is not about winning the match or the Cup. It is all about winning the control of your life. That is what all 500 young men and women are playing for. And that is why we – as representative of all professional footballers worldwide – want to emphasise that we all need each other to make that next step in life. That collective effort, that mutual respect is the fundament for this unique event. I hope all 500 players will turn out to be winners.”

“I am delighted that FIFPro have asked to sponsor these daily awards,” said Mel Young, co-founder and President of the Homeless World Cup. “Our two organizations share similar values around dignity and respect, and these awards will recognise such behavior on the pitch.”

“It will be great fun as well,” he added.