Tournament organisers nominated Team England for the fourth FIFPro award of the 2018 Homeless World Cup after the team showed great sportsmanship during their match against Team Hong Kong.
While they were comfortably beating Hong Kong, England’s manager encouraged their players not to embarrass their opponents and instead provide them chances to score to lessen the scoreline.
The award, which recognises players who showed great sportsmanship or outstanding behaviour at the tournament, was presented to the team by ex Mexican professional player Odilon Patiño.
In response to the award, manager Craig McManus said: “With the players, we spoke about how they would feel if they were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat—and we have been in this tournament.
“So I think it allowed our players to identify this with the other team, and I think it inspired them so that they enjoyed the experience of playing against us.”
Meanwhile, team captain Abdur-Rahman Ali-Taleb said: “It’s something that we worked on as a team: trying to inspire others and actually inspire ourselves at the same time. And for us to actually be recognised for something that we set out to do is amazing.”
Words: Craig Williams
Images: Dominique Oliveto