Dessie Ellis has said that Ireland should consider hosting the Homeless World Cup. Such an event would mark a real commitment. It would be an initiative that would build confidence and lift the morale of homeless people everywhere. It would also be a major tourist event. And a world cup that we could win.
Ireland finished 16th in this years Homeless World Cup. Not bad considering 59 teams entered the tournament.
From late September through to this month over 700 homeless men and women, representing 59 teams, arrived in Mexico City from 55 countries around the world. The tournament has a competition for men and one for women. It ran over nine days between the 6th and 14th of October. It was won by Chile who beat Mexico 8-5. The Mexican women’s team won their competition defeating Brazil 6-2.
The competition was held on a field constructed in the Zocalo. This is the historic main plaza or square in the heart of the City. The Zocalo has been a focal point of gathering for people since the time of the Aztecs. 50,000 spectators turned up for some of the matches..
As a former participant in the Street Leagues, in it's formative stages, I think this is an excellent suggestion. Street League footie gives the players an opportunity to participate in normal everyday activies that they don't otherwise have. It encourages homeless people to help themselves. Those who participate also help dis-spell the negative stereotypes that surround homelessness in general. It keeps some people off the corner for a few hours as well as creating awareness about addiction, unemployment, alcoholism and can be a positive contributor to anti-racism as the Street Leagues teams participate in competitions like Give Racism The Red Card.