Participants must be at least 16 years old, have not taken part in previous Homeless World Cup tournament, and meet at least one of the following criteria:
– Have been homeless at some point in the last year, in accordance with the national definition of homelessness
– Make their main living income as street paper vendor
– Asylum seekers currently without positive asylum status or who were previously asylum seekers but obtained residency status
– Currently in drug or alcohol rehabilitation and also have been homeless at some point in the past two years
Homelessness is defined according to the national context of each country. If a country has a legal definition of homelessness, this will be used to determine eligibility. In countries without a legal definition, working definitions by local housing NGOs or academics are used.
Each country can apply to send a men’s/mixed and a women’s team.
The national team(s) for each country are selected by the local National Partners in that country. National Partners recruit participants by putting the word out, for example through adverts in street papers and posters in hostels. They then select a team of eight players (or two teams of eight players each, if they are bringing a men’s/mixed and a women’s team), taking into account level of commitment, personal attitude, and sporting ability.
The National Partners arrange transport for our players, the Homeless World Cup Foundation ensures food and accommodation for players is provided for the duration of the event.
Temporary seated stadiums are purpose built in a busy city-centre location, with play taking place on specially constructed enclosed street-football pitches.
Localities apply to host the Homeless World Cup and are evaluated based on a number of criteria, including but not limited to:
– An active Homeless World Cup National Partner organization in the country
– Assurance of visas for participating nations
– A strong local organizer with support from necessary government and business interests
– A high-profile venue and adequate accommodation
– Potential for lasting impact
The event is free to attend, and our audience has been growing steadily each year. In 2005 in Edinburgh, between 50-60,000 people attended during one week. In Cape Town, this grew to over 100,000 people, which was repeated in Melbourne 2008. In 2012, 168,000 people attended the tournament in Mexico City.
In addition, thousands of people log on to the web to watch the live stream and millions more follow the action via social media. The event also attracts media coverage all over the world.
Typically, 48 men’s/mixed teams and 16 women’s teams are invited to the tournament.
Read the complete Tournament Rules here.