Scotland

Mexico celebrate 2016 Homeless World Cup wins in Glasgow

George Square Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands turned up each day for the Homeless World Cup staged in George Square, Glasgow

Mexico celebrated double success at the 14th Homeless World Cup in Glasgow after both their men's and women's teams retained their titles.

Mexico's women overcame challengers Kyrgyzstan in a 5-0 thriller to lift the trophy.

The men's team also put in a powerful performance to see off Brazil 6-1, and keep the silverware.

More than 500 men and women from 52 countries around the world competed in four-a-side matches over several days.

Nearly 100,000 spectators watched the free-to-watch games, which were staged in George Square in the heart of Glasgow.

Organisers said two million people also watched the tournament online.

Image copyright Homeless World Cup
Image caption Mexico's men's team celebrated as they retained their trophy with a 6-1 win over Brazil

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who attended the event, said the Homeless World Cup would energise and engage people who, for whatever reason, had become socially excluded.

The event was set up by the International Network of Street Papers and Mel Young, founder of the Big Issue in Scotland.

Mr Young said: "We promised that George Square would be the most inspiring place on the planet for the duration of this tournament, that so it has been.

"The people of Glasgow have taken our players to their hearts, and made this such a very special tournament in the history of the Homeless World Cup.

Image copyright Homeless World Cup
Image caption Mexico overcame challengers Kyrgyzstan 5-0 to lift the women's trophy

"As our players head back to their countries, we wish them every success as they look to build on this experience, and create a life they would want for themselves.

"Rightly, they should stand tall. We can genuinely say: you are all winners."

Scottish Minister for Sport Aileen Campbell said: "The Homeless World Cup has been a fantastic and exciting tournament that all of Scotland has got behind.

"It's been great to see George Square busy every day and is a perfect example of how the power of sport can both transform lives and change perceptions for the better."

The next Homeless World Cup will be held in Oslo in the summer of 2017.

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