Australia’s ‘Socceroos’ have thrown their support behind the sixth annual Homeless World Cup, which started on Monday in Melbourne. They urge everyone to show support for the unsung heroes of this life-changing event.
The Homeless World Cup is a world-class international football tournament that has triggered and supports grass roots football programmes in over 60 nations engaging 30,000 players who are homeless all year round. 56 nations are competing in the annual international football tournament, which uses the power of sport to transform the lives of homeless people around the world.
“The Homeless World Cup is not just a tournament – it’s an opportunity for people to change their lives. I urge everybody to get behind the teams, spur them onto victory, and help them give themselves a fresh start,” Socceroos Captain and player for West Ham (England), Lucas Neill said.
Socceroos stars lending their support to the campaign are Lucas Neill (West Ham FC), Jason Culina (PSV Eindhoven), David Carney (Sheffield United FC), Brett Emerton (Blackburn FC), Scott McDonald (Celtic FC) and Archie Thompson (Melbourne Victory FC). They have all recorded personal messages, which can be viewed on the Big Screen at Federation Square during the tournament and at http://www.homelessworldcup.org.
Champion Socceroo Jason Culina, praised the international tournament, saying: “The Homeless World Cup unites homeless people from around the globe and gives them the opportunity to play the greatest game in the world – football.”
In addition to a great sporting spectacle, the Homeless World Cup has a long-lasting impact on the players involved. Over 70 percent of players significantly change their lives for the better, including finding homes, employment, coming off drugs and alcohol, reconnecting with their families and even becoming coaches and football players.
Up to 56 nations, including eight all-female teams participating in the first ever Women’s Homeless World Cup, will play a total of 349 matches over the week-long tournament.
Matches will be played on three purpose-built stadiums at Federation Square and Birrarung Marr, in the centre of Melbourne, including a spectacular grandstand with viewing capacity for 2500 people right in the heart of Federation Square.