The 2019 Homeless World Cup reached its penultimate day on Friday as the tournament entered the knockout stages. Teams will now contend for six available trophies in the Men’s competition and two trophies in the Women’s competition based on where they finished in the latter stage of the tournament.
On Friday afternoon the tournament reached the semi-final stage in each of its respective tournaments.
In the top tier of the Homeless World Cup, the men’s tournament saw Russia take on Chile in one of the semi-finals. Chile led 4-3 at halftime. However, coming out of halftime, Russia scored twice in the first 20 seconds to go up 5-4. Chile equalised soon after and the game stayed 5-5 right up until full time. In the penalty shoot-out, Chile showed great composure to ultimately take the 1-0 win and secure their place in the Homeless World Cup Final.
The other semi-final saw similar drama as Portugal took on Mexico. Portugal had a 2-0 lead at halftime and continued to be in control of the match by the ten-minute mark. Mexico would then get one back but Portugal would reply quickly after to make it 4-1. With a just over a minute left, Mexico would then bring the game back to 4-4 and then proceed to go up 5-4 for the first time in the match before Portugal equalized with the last kick of the game. In the penalty shoot-out Mexico showed great composure to take the win and book their place in the Homeless World Cup Final.
In the second-tier competition, host nation Wales lost to Lithuania 7 to 4, thus missing the chance to play for a trophy. The home team will be playing tomorrow for seventh or eighth place against Switzerland.
In the women’s competition, Peru would end Romania’s unbeaten run when they narrowly defeated them 5-4 to secure their place in the Women’s World Cup Final. In the other semi-final, Mexico’s women would defeat Chile 4-2 to go on to face Peru in the final tomorrow afternoon.
The host nation won their quarter-final against Street Football United, but lost their semi-final against Norway after a dramatic penalty shootout. The Welsh Warriors will be playing for third or fourth place against the Netherlands.
For the full results from DAY SEVEN visit the Homeless World Cup website:
Daily live streams are also available on HWC YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the HWC website.
Off the pitch
In the Bevan tent today, John Puzey, Rebecca Jackson and Annie Simmonds Cotter discussed their research and conversations with those experiencing street homelessness in Cardiff before Laura McAllister CBE was joined by Women Can for a discussion on the future of women’s football.
A host of big names from the music and entertainment world have graced the main stage at the Homeless World Cup this week and tonight did not disappoint. Crowds gathered to enjoy four-piece slacker/art rock band from north Wales, Papur Wal, before Cardiff born Charlotte Church took to the stage with her Late Night Pop Dungeon.
Some stories from the Homeless World Cup website – Day 7
Nine is the magic number for Jesper
Football has been Jesper’s passion as long as he can remember. He has had an eye on the ball since childhood, wearing jersey #9, which is also his lucky number. Jesper is thrilled to be part of the Danish Dynamite team in Cardiff as player #9, of course!
Around a year ago, life took a sudden turnaround for Jesper. After a breakup with his girlfriend he was in a situation without a place to call home. Couch surfing was his new reality. Never knowing next day’s sofa and with no near prospect of more permanent housing, life got more and more difficult for Jesper. This lead to substance abuse and a feeling of indifference. When Jesper then lost his job, he also lost purpose.
Despite his struggles, Jesper had the courage to call out for help. Two good friends took him under their wings and got him in contact with a local treatment and housing facility. Jesper is now living there, has quit drugs, and is on a positive path to finding himself again—one step at a time.
“I want to improve things for my daughter”
Leading Team Czech Republic at the Homeless World Cup here in Cardiff is 30-year-old Tomas Siska, who hails from the town of Zlate Hory on the border with Poland.
His arm tattoo bears the name of his six-year-old daughter Eliska, who is watching on from home with her mum as her father captains his country on the world stage.
“I miss my daughter a lot. It’s my responsibility to be a good dad. I communicate with my daughter and her mother. They’ve been watching my matches and after every match they’ve been sending me messages. I feel great.
“After the first win I was really really crying after reading their messages when I came off the pitch. I think a lot of people are watching the team in Czech Republic,” he said.
“It’s ok to struggle to be a good person”
It’s not only been a distant trek for Sujata and her colleagues from the Indian team to get to Cardiff, but a long road for her to achieve her dream to play football.
Hailing from from a small village outside Darjeeling, in the far corner of India where West Bengal nestles between Bhutan and Nepal, Sujata has been single-minded in her pursuit of the beautiful game.
“Back home I have to walk 30 minutes to get to a road, and to get to somewhere to play football …” Sujata raises her eyes.
“In my area there are many girls who wanted to play football, but inside the homes we cannot convince our families—they don’t allow. I really wanted to play but my family said ‘don’t be like a boy’.
“I want to write my own future”
He was the sole survivor of the Srebrenica massacre and even gave evidence at the Hague. Now, Fahrudin Muminovic is hoping to write a whole new chapter in his incredible story as he represents Bosnia and Herzegovina at the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff.
Muminovic was just seven years old when he watched his father be killed alongside more than 150 people from his village in the massacre in 1995.
As the sound of gunfire and the sight of corpses surrounded him, Muminovic rose from the devastation—alone and afraid—only to find no one knew who he was.
Hidden behind a screen to protect his identity, he then gave evidence against those responsible at the International Court of Justice in the Hague, sending many of them to prison for life.
“For most of his life, I’ve lived in refugee camps, basically as homeless,” said the 31-year-old.
“I am HIV positive and want to represent the HIV community.”
“I am HIV positive and I want to represent the HIV community, the marginalised people in Indonesia and make sure everyone knows that they can play football too.”
Isye is 40 years old. She wears a sports hijab, she plays football with and against men, and she has HIV. She has fought and overcome barrier after barrier, from gender, age, religion, culture and infection. She is a multi-activist; from promoting HIV without stigma to female participation in sports whilst upholding religious and cultural beliefs.
A “tomboy”, widower, and mother of two, Isye has played football since she was a child. “I always liked to do the things that are known as ‘boy stuff’ like football. Other people think that is not right, maybe. But I want to show that it isn’t a problem playing soccer. It can sometimes feel uncomfortable playing with and against men here. But I want to be an inspiration for every women in Indonesia, that women and women living with HIV can be doing everything, not just sleeping, housekeeping, and crying—everything!