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Glasgow will host biggest and best Homeless World Cup this summer

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City's ​George Square to be venue for the week-long football tournament

Glasgow is promising to stage the biggest and best ever Homeless World Cup after being picked as the host venue for 2016.

Over 60 teams from 51 countries will compete for the 14th Homeless World Cup in Glasgow’s George Square this summer.

It will begin on Sunday, July 10 and run until the following Saturday.

The tournament pitches teams of homeless people from across the world against each other with the aim of building self-esteem among competitors.

The keenly fought, fast-paced games are 4-a-side and played in two halves of seven minutes each, with a one minute break for halftime.

Each team consists of up to eight players, four of which — three field players and one goalie — are on the court at a time.

Mel Young, president of the Homeless World Cup Foundation, said: "We are happy to be bringing the Homeless World Cup back to Scotland after 11 years and know Glasgow will be an amazing host city, with George Square the focal point.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, and Culture Sport Glasgow to deliver what we’re sure will be the biggest tournament yet.

Edinburgh played host to the tournament in 2005 with Scotland crowned HWC champions twice in 2007 and 2011.

Glaswegians will open their hearts to the inspiring players from across the world - David Duke

Street Soccer Scotland, founded in 2009, is the organisation which represents Team Scotland at the Homeless World Cup each year.

The programme delivers football-related personal development and training sessions for around 1,000 socially disadvantaged people every week.

David Duke, chief executive of Street Soccer Scotland, led Scotland to the crown in 2007 and said Glasgow would be the perfect host.

“It’s great to offer our players, who will be selected from the many thousands who take part in our hundreds of football programmes across the country, with an opportunity to represent their country on home turf,” he added.

“Glasgow is a great host city, and its people will open their hearts to the inspiring players from across the world.”

Jamie Hepburn, minister for sport, said he was “delighted” the Scottish Government had been able to fund the tourney.

He said: “The Homeless World Cup teaches us about the power of sport to bring people together and change lives for the better.

“Every one of the players will have a powerful story. Many of them have experienced real hardship, but all are on the path to a more positive future, and it’s inspirational to see the role that sport is playing in their lives.”



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