Glasgow & West Scotland

Homeless World Cup kicks off in Glasgow

Opening ceremony in George Square in Glasgow Image copyright Homeless World Cup

The Homeless World Cup has begun in Glasgow, with the opening ceremony and first matches watched by more than 5,000 people.

The tournament, which features 48 men's and 16 women's teams, will run until 16 July.

A temporary arena has been constructed in the city's George Square, with seating for 3,500 spectators.

The opening fixtures of the tournament saw Scotland's men beat Hong Kong 8-4. The women's team beat Norway 11-1.

This is the 14th year of the competition.

Scotland last hosted the tournament in 2005, in Edinburgh. The first took place in Graz, Austria, in 2003.

The aim of the competition is to inspire homeless people to change their lives.

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

The Scotland teams are managed, selected and coached by social enterprise Street Soccer Scotland. They include players from across Scotland picked after a series of selection days throughout the year.

Image copyright Homeless World Cup
Image copyright Homeless World Cup

Ally Dawson, manager of Team Scotland, said: "The Homeless World Cup is a very special event for everyone involved and being host nation brings an added honour.

"The men's and women's squads have been training very hard over recent weeks in preparation for the start of the tournament.

"Every year the Scottish teams are determined to do their country proud but this year has an added edge as they look forward to playing in front of what will be a very noisy home support."

About 100,000 spectators are expected to come to watch matches during the week-long tournament. Entry is free and no tickets are required.

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