The 18th edition of the Homeless World Cup will take place in Finland’s iconic city of Tampere from June 28 – July 5.

More than 500 players representing over 50 countries will travel to Tampere to attend the week-long festival of football, in what is to become one of the most exciting Homeless World Cup tournaments yet.

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“Bringing the Homeless World Cup to Finland has been our target for several years,” said Perttu Pesa, local organising committee (LOC) president and Tampere city’s director of major events.

“We have strong co-operation with Finnish NGOs like the Salvation Army, the Deaconess Institute, and the Nauha Association NGO. We are working together with the city, and it brings us new tools for the future as a legacy.”

Finnish Homeless Academy manager Ari Huldèn has been working with the academy since 2006 and understands the power of football to change people’s lives.

“I know how football can give a new opportunity and way to live your life. There was a time when I was one of them, and giving back the thing that I got is my mission,” he said. “It’s great to get this festival of new beginning to Finland and Tampere.”

Mel Young, co-founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation said: “We’re really excited to bring the tournament to Tampere. We believe the city and its people will welcome our players and event with open arms and will help us impact the lives and change perceptions of even more people.”

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