Day three at the Homeless World Cup Cardiff 2019
Today saw the end of the Group Stage in the Men’s Competition, with the top three teams from each group moving on to playing for a place in the top three trophies during the Qualifying Stage. Similarly, the bottom three teams in each group will play for a place in the bottom three trophies of the competition.
The host team Wales came third in their group after their victory over Cambodia (7-1), thus making the cut for one of the top three trophies.
The top teams across the groups were: Mexico (Group A), Chile (B); South Africa (C); Brazil (D); Portugal (E); Egypt (F); Russia (G); and Lithuania (H).
Starting tomorrow, the Men’s Qualifying Groups are:
For a place in the top three trophies:
Group A: Mexico, Chile, Ireland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Costa Rica
Group B: South Africa, Brazil, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, Scotland
Group C: Portugal, Egypt, Poland, Indonesia, Wales, Zimbabwe
Group D: Russia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, USA
For a place in the bottom three trophies:
Group E: Denmark, England, Sweden, Slovenia, Israel
Group F: South Korea, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Czech Republic, Ivory Coast
Group G: N. Ireland, India, Greece, Croatia, Australia
Group H: Finland, Germany, Cambodia, Belgium, Netherlands
The Women’s Group Stage continued today, with Mexico, Chile and Austria topping group A with 15, 12 and 12 points respectively; and Group B topped by Peru and Romania tied in 15 points, followed by USA, India and Hungary, all on 9 points. Group Stage will conclude tomorrow, with the top four teams in each group gaining a place in the top trophy.
Host team Wales currently sitting on sixth place with 5 points in Group A.
For the full results from DAY THREE visit the Homeless World Cup website:
Daily live streams are also available on HWC YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the HWC website
Off the pitch
On the music stage the evening crowds were entertained by band Rosehip Teahouse and brilliant Welsh solo artist and BBC 6Music favourite, Gwenno. Team Cambodia has also been busy learning Welsh sentences and phrases in preparation for their Homeless World Cup journey to Cardiff. Today, they wanted to see if their Welsh was up to scratch and practiced with Wales player, Osian. Da iawn! Check out the impromptu lesson here.
Some stories from the Homeless World Cup website – Day 3
“Football rewards you for all the effort you put in to it”
Among the Mexican men’s squad taking part in this year’s Homeless World Cup is 31-year-old Juan Jesus Rios, from Ciudad Juarez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Affectionately known as ‘Pinpon’, Rios found life growing up in one of Mexico’s most violent cities was one of great difficulty.
He was living on the streets by the age of 14 and spent most of his life troubled by alcohol and drug use, which ultimately led to an accident in December of 2007 that saw him suffer devastating burns to 80% of his face and body.
Rios got involved with Mexico’s street soccer network in his home city in 2013 after learning about the program via a TV advert. It was once he’d recovered from his life-threatening injuries that Rios became aware of the work of Street Soccer Mexico.
“Football rewards you for all the effort you put into it—the same effort that I’ve given on a day-to-day basis to be here [in Cardiff] and I’m enjoying it as much as possible,” Rios says. “Being here isn’t a case of coming here to play football. It serves you up to change your life, and that’s what awaits me round the corner.”
“I feel that I stand again in society”
Anyone who has ventured into Bute Park over the last four days won’t have failed to notice the hirsute heroism of the Netherlands’ lofty goalkeeper. Meet 35-year-old Dennis Koopmans from Hardenwyk, who is taming his personal demons thanks to the round ball.
“I was standing out of society and I need something to get back in. I was alone,” he says. “I was divorced and my children are away with my ex-partner, and I lost myself.#
“Now, step by step, I am getting back. I’m not there yet but I’m working on it.”
“I hope that they get opportunities, like I have, in sport and society, and that they stand firm, do well in school, and do what they want to do, work for what they like and not only the money. There’s more in life than money.
“The most wonderful things are free: love and respect. Love and respect.”
An opportunity to see the ‘teamness’
At the Homeless World Cup, we look to make sure that acts of sportsmanship and fair play don’t go unrecognised. It may only be Day 3 of the Homeless World Cup in Cardiff, but we have already witnessed countless acts of kindness and camaraderie. Today’s FIFPro Fair Play Award winners Northern Ireland have perfectly illustrated that.
Northern Ireland men’s coach Adrian Curry explains ‘we won the fair play award yesterday because we put our foot off the gas against Israel a bit, because we realised we were winning with quite a few goals. So we just tried to give Israel that extra boost, which we all need sometimes. For all of us that is what street soccer is all about, that is what the Homeless World Cup is all about: just being there for people from all over the world and doing fair play.’
Champions League experience to coaching role
This year’s Homeless World Cup in Cardiff has seen Austria bring a women’s team to compete for the first time. And as far as the team is concerned, it seems that in coach Emily Cancienne they have the best possible person to lead the team in their inaugural competition participation.
That’s because the 27-year-old American is a professional player who plays in the Austrian Frauenliga with Sturm Graz and will soon compete in Champions League qualification for her club side against Sporting Braga, Riga FS and Apollon Limassol in Riga.
So how did a player brought up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and who had never left the USA until she finished university, end up coaching the Austrian women’s team in Cardiff?
“I finished my studies in Louisiana and two months later I decided I need to get out of the little town and go see the world. A friend of mine was playing professional football in Serbia and gave me a contact to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia. And then in August of 2014 I left my home country for the first time and I went to Croatia, where I played for a year for Zagreb,” she said.
“Then I had an opportunity to go and play for Sturm Graz in Austria and I’ve been there since 2015. And after the migrant crisis in 2017 I wanted to do something, I wanted to help out.”
“I’ve played football to live out my dreams.”
Mohamed Wahed remembers it clearly. On a training pitch in downtown Cairo, a finger was pointed at him.
In an instant, the 17-year-old’s dreams became reality as he realised he had made the cut for Team Egypt at the 2019 Homeless World Cup.
Relaxing in the players area, Wahed smiles: “I got the first call from the coach and he told me I had made it down to the final training camp, and that only eight players would be selected from that group to travel to the tournament.
“Then after the final sessions, I was on the training field in the city and they pointed at me and told me I had made it to the final team who would travel to Cardiff. Words can’t describe how happy I was. I was emotional and just thanked the coach.
“I feel very honoured and privileged to have this experience.”