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Scottish Fairtrade group teams up with Homeless World Cup

This news post is almost 7 years old

Glasgow-based co-operative ​Bala Sport is providing over 300 footballs for the Homeless World Cup to help ensure fair pay and working conditions for Pakistani football manufacturers

Edinburgh based global travel site Skyscanner and Glasgow co-operative Bala Sport are teaming up to provide fairtrade footballs for this year’s Homeless World Cup.

The eight-day football tournament will start in Oslo on Tuesday 29 August and is due to attract a global audience of over three million. 72 teams from 54 countries will be participating, making this year’s tournament the largest yet.

The Homeless World Cup Foundation is now teaming up with Skyscanner and Bala Sport, who are donating 325 specially designed fairtrade balls made in Pakistan for the tournament.

Over 40,000 workers in the Pakistani city of Sialkot make around 60 million hand-stitched footballs every year, 70% of the world’s production of footballs. Many work in unsafe conditions and the average annual wage is around £700.

Bala Sport works with football manufacturers in Sialkot to provide fairer conditions to workers by importing their Fairtrade balls for sale in the UK. The co-operative guarantees that when Fairtrade certified balls are bought in the UK, the workers who made the products are paid a fair wage and receive safe working conditions.

The workers in Sialkot also receive an extra 10% Fairtrade Premium, money paid directly to workers through community committees who invest it in social development projects.

These projects have included providing free eye and diabetes tests, free backpacks and schoolbooks for workers’ children, and funding water purification plants to give the workers access to safe drinking water.

Homeless World Cup Foundation chief executive Ryan Mackie said: “The men and women of Sialkot who make the footballs enjoyed by the rest of the world deserve to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, just like all of those taking part in the tournament in Oslo and all people who are experiencing homelessness.”

Bala Sport marketing director Angus Coull said: “There’s a great connection between Bala Sport and the Homeless World Cup in that both organisations are determined to help people change their lives.

“For our workers in Pakistan Fairtrade enables them to provide a better future for the families, so playing this tournament with Fairtrade balls makes perfect sense and is a real win-win situation for all.”

Hugh Aitken, senior commercial director at Skyscanner, said: “Skyscanner is delighted to be associated with the Homeless World Cup Foundation and this fantastic life changing event, and would like to wish all the players at the tournament the best of luck.”

The Homeless World Cup Foundation has partners in 74 countries and has helped an estimated one million people since its creation.