Former Homeless World Cup Player Invited to Referee at the 2015 Homeless World Cup

Jesus Chavdarov of Stara Zagora children’s home Maria Terezia is one of the first two graduates of the Homeless World Cup Referee Course. His new credentials in hand, he has been invited to referee at this year’s Homeless World Cup.

After an impressive performance as a Bulgarian international at the Homeless World Cup 2014, which saw Bulgaria achieving their highest-ever ranking in 12th place, he passed the Homeless World Cup Referee Course in June 2015.

The Homeless World Cup Referee Course is a new global initiative by the Homeless World Cup Foundation aimed at giving more players the chance to become referees, and has been developed in association with top Dutch referee Paul Nagtegaal. The course was launched this year and has so far been delivered in Portugal and Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, 15 participants completed the course which was organised in partnership with Sports Management Bulgaria, the Homeless World Cup partner in the country.

Homeless World Cup, Amsterdam 2015. Image by Anita Milas

Jesus, 19, was born in Stara Zagora and was admitted to a children’s home at the age of two. When he was seven, he moved into the children’s home Maria Terezia, which provides a home to around 50 children and youth who are orphaned or have no contact with their parents. At the end of this month, he will be moving out as he has no longer a claim to a place because he has now completed secondary education. He will be looking for a job and is planning to train as a security guard at the St.George College of Security in Stara Zagora.

A confident leader, he captained the team that represented Bulgaria at the first World Championship for Children from Orphanages in Warsaw in 2013. His performance at this event also led him to be included in an exhibition match alongside German international Lukas Podolski.

As official Homeless World Cup Referee, he travelled to Amsterdam in September 2015 where he represented fair play and respect during the games between teams from all over the globe.