The Homeless World Cup

My friend Craig Thompson told me about a project that he’s
now involved in: The Homeless World
Cup
. It sounds like an excellent way to
leverage the power of soccer, the social draw of which I find consistently
under-utilized, to help alleviate the problems and pains associated with
homelessness.

 

Here are some stats from the 2004 World Cup:

  • Today 78 of the 204 World Cup players work in regular jobs
  • 16 signed with football clubs or work as coaches
  • 95 improved their housing situation

I think it’s additionally brilliant because soccer is
inherently a street game. The common
story these days is the soccer star rising from the streets (usually poor, if
not literally homeless) very quickly (most exceptionally talented players are
discovered and make it through the very efficient filters of the game by their
late teens), but, in the process, losing ties to their community. True, they remain role-models to the kids on
the street, but the interaction is little.

The Homeless World Cup is an opportunity for the global
soccer industry to pay its debt to the cradle of the game – the streets.

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