Monday, August 12, 2013

Homeless World Cup: Scotland face India

Scotland's 2013 Homeless World Cup campaign started with a defeat in Poznan yesterday.

Opening up against Indonesia, Group G's top seeds, always looked a daunting prospect and so it proved as the Scots lost 6-4.

In a tight round of fixtures Argentina edged Wales 5-4 and Norway beat India 5-3. Scotland face India today - you can catch the game live on the Homeless World Cup website from 4pm UK time.

A bit of a tough day for the home nations yesterday - England lost their opening fixture 13-2 against Lithuania and Northern Ireland were beaten 6-1 by Hungary.

2013 is actually the first time all four home nations have been represented at the Homeless World Cup with Northern Ireland making their debut, the team drawn from street leagues in Belfast and Derry.

Finally being represented at the tournament is an achievement in itself and Northern Ireland's Sean O'Neill remained philosophical: "Have fun and you’ve won."

Today's football headlines are again infuriating - rich men and rich clubs arguing over transfer deals and money, quoting figures most of us can't comprehend.

Mel Young, the co-founder of the Homeless World Cup, counters that in his blog post about the tournament's opening ceremony which was hosted by Lech Poznan before their league match against Korona Kielce:
Sometimes the football industry receives a lot of bad press and deservedly so. Some parts of it seem elitist and greedy where the rich take all at the expense of the smaller players and where cheating or play-acting is encouraged in an atmosphere of win at all costs.

However, I really believe in the power of football and my experience of the football world is incredibly positive. Lech Poznan deserves huge praise for allowing the official opening of the Homeless World Cup to take place at their stadium yesterday. They didn’t have to do anything but they went out of their way to organise something which will be cherished by everyone involved.

Lech Poznan has shown how professional football clubs can put something back into the community and make a difference. Other clubs should follow their example. It gives the club genuine soul and an authenticity which is reflected in their fans who gave the Homeless World Cup teams such a fabulous welcome when they entered the stadium.

We shouldn’t have any homelessness in the world. We need to end it. The Homeless World Cup has proved that football has real power and we make genuine impact every day. But, we need to build on the momentum. Everyone has the ability to make a contribution and help change the world.

Lech Poznan has shown what is possible and other clubs should follow their example. I thank the Club and its supporters for their fabulous input. 
Homeless World Cup 2013 on the Scottish Football Blog

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