The draw for the 2016 Homeless World Cup has been announced.
The groups for the men’s and women’s competition were made yesterday in Glasgow City Hall, just a stone’s throw from the tournament venue in the city’s iconic George Square.
This summer, 512 players in 64 teams from 52 nations will compete in the tournament when it comes to Glasgow for the first time from 10-16 July.
INSP’s global street paper network will be represented by a number of vendors from Greece and Switzerland who will play for their national squads.
Managers of Scotland’s national sides, Gordon Strachan and Anna Signeul, announced the groups alongside two former Team Scotland Homeless World Cup players and coach Robert O’Hare.
This year’s hosts are seeded 15th in the men’s competition and will compete alongside Norway and Hong Kong in Group A.
England and Germany will go head-to-head in Group B, while Wales and Ireland were drawn in Groups B and D respectively. Defending champions Mexico are seeded second behind Brazil, and will look to dominate Group G.
England and Scotland are the only UK women’s teams to compete in this year’s tournament, drawn in groups A and B respectively. After their first visit to the life-changing tournament in Amsterdam last year, Scotland will compete as 7th seeds.
Scotland coach Robert O’Hare has long been an inspiration to Street Soccer Scotland players. He captained Scotland to victory against Mexico in the 2011 tournament in Paris, and describes the tournament as “life changing”.
“You get to see that there are so many people in the world living in poverty but this tournament unites them,” he said.
“To be able to lift that trophy is the pinnacle of the whole event. When you come home and you’ve got your self-esteem and self-respect back, you actually feel like you are somebody, regardless of your circumstances.
“It gives you that overwhelming confidence to strive to get out of whatever dark place you’re in.”
The event will see Glasgow’s George Square transformed into a mini football festival, with temporary pitches and seating. The tournament is expected to draw over 100,000 spectators over seven days.
“I don’t think there’s a better city to bring the competition to. I’m an East End boy and I think this will be the best-supported Homeless World Cup we’ve ever had,” added Robert.
This will be the second time Scotland has played host to the tournament, now in its 14th year, after the event was held on Edinburgh in 2005. The first Homeless World Cup took place in Graz, Austria in 2003.
The 2016 Homeless World Cup takes place in Glasgow 10-16 July. Check out the full draw below.
2016 MEN’S HOMELESS WORLD CUP
- Group A
Egypt, Grenada, Hong Kong, Norway, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Group B
Canada, Wales, Denmark, Austria, South Africa, Poland
- Group C
Australia, Germany, England, Slovenia, Russia, Chile
- Group D
Sweden, Greece, United States, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Ireland
- Group E
Nigeria, Switzerland, Italy, Northern Ireland, Romania, Netherlands
- Group F
South Korea, Belgium, Zimbabwe, Hungary, Namibia, Portugal
- Group G
Burkina Faso, Cambodia, India, Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico
- Group H
Ivory Coast, Finland, Czech Republic, Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil
2016 WOMEN’S HOMELESS WORLD CUP
- Group A
India, Guatemala, Chile, France, Argentina, Greece, Mexico, England
- Group B
Netherlands, Kenya , Scotland, Kyrgyzstan, Wales, Ivory Coast, Norway, United States