Norway Hosts Homeless World Cup 2017
Army uses soccer to challenge public perceptions of homelessness and the issues that surround it.
Seventy-two soccer teams converged on Oslo this month for the 15th Homeless World Cup in the Norwegian capital. HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit formally commenced proceedings at the city’s iconic Rådhusplassen. The Salvation Army hosted the event as Official Partner in Norway and was responsible for Norway’s national team.
24 women’s teams and 48 men’s/mixed teams were invited to compete, with 500+ players representing more than 50 countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
The Salvation Army in Norway has been using soccer to reach out to different groups for more than 30 years. In 2005, The Salvation Army’s Gatefotball (Street Soccer) was officially established. Since then the initiative has expanded into many cities across the country, and an annual Norwegian Street Soccer Cup has been organized. Gatefotball focuses on drug rehabilitation for men and women through sport.
The Homeless World Cup Foundation works with a network of organizations representing 74 nations around the world. These partners vary in size and structure but they all have one thing in common: they all use the power of soccer to help people who are homeless and socially disadvantaged. Year-round street soccer programs take place around the globe, and the national partners use these events to select the players who will represent their country at the Homeless World Cup tournament.
In addition to inspiring change in participant’s lives, the Homeless World Cup aspires to challenge public perceptions of homelessness and the issues that surround it. By showing the human side of homelessness, The Salvation Army and national partners aim to promote a more compassionate approach to helping those affected by it.
Demonstrating the internationalism of the event, 28 Salvation Army officers from around the world joined forces with personnel from the host territory to assist the visiting teams. They will also staffed a tournament church/prayer room within the arena.
From report by IHQ Communications International Headquarters