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The 17th edition of the Homeless World Cup will kick off on Saturday July 27th in Cardiff, Wales.

FIFPRO is a partner of the event which aims to help people get their lives back on track. 

This article explains what you need to know about the 2019 Homeless World Cup, which runs until August 3rd.


The players

64 teams from 51 countries will play at the tournament, including 48 teams competing in the men’s/mixed competition and 16 in the women’s. More than 500 players will participate.

The game

It’s a 4-a-side game played on a small pitch (22 meters long and 16 meters wide). Teams consist of 8 players: 1 goalkeeper, 3 outfield players and 4 substitutes, with rolling substitutions allowed. Matches last 14 minutes (two 7-minute halves). Each match has a winner. If there is a draw, the outcome will be decided by a penalty shoot-out. More than 400 games are scheduled.

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The Tournament

The Homeless World Cup is not about winning, but of course football remains a game and there are trophies to be won. The tournament starts with two group stages. After these group stages, there is a knock-out stage with 6 men's leagues and 2 women's leagues both consisting of eight teams. Each league has its own champion.

Who can compete?

A player has to be at least 16 years old, may not have appeared in a previous Homeless World Cup and must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • must have been homeless at some point in the past year;
  • his/her main living income is from selling newspapers on the street;
  • the player is in drug or alcohol rehabilitation having been homeless at some point in the past two years;
  • he/she is an asylum seeker.

FIFPRO’s role

Celebrate fair play blue 300nFIFPRO is a partner of the Homeless World Cup. The global player union also presents a daily fair play award to a team which showed outstanding sportsmanlike behaviour. This team will be honoured on a special stage and will also receive a Fair Play medal.

The Fair Play awards

The Homeless World Cup is a special sporting event, where winning back control of your life is the most important goal. The FIFPRO Fair Play Award emphasizes that respecting yourself, your teammates and opponents is more valuable than scoring a match-winning goal.

Who picks the award winners

At the end of each match day, match referees decide on a fair play winner who will be honoured the following day.

Are other player unions involved?

Ten FIFPro member unions are supporting a local street football organisation: ABF (Bulgaria), HUNS (Croatia), JPY (Finland), PFA England, FPAI (India), NISO (Norway), PFAI Ireland, PFA Scotland, Spelarforening (Sweden) and SAFP (Switzerland). All are helping teams in their own country, mostly with kits, balls and/or equipment. PFA England is supporting the South African team, PFA Scotland is supporting the team from Malawi.

Where can I watch?

There is a live stream on The Homeless World Cup’s YouTube page. It also contains various interesting reports and interviews about the tournament, its players and guests.

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