THE Homeless World Cup Foundation today (27 June 2016) announces the opening games of the 2016 Homeless World Cup, which kicks-off on Sunday 10 July 2016.
Scotland’s men will face Hong Kong in the opening fixture (1300 BST), followed by Scotland women against Norway, immediately afterwards (1325 BST).
The games take place in the heart of Glasgow, on George Square, which will be turned into a spectacular stadium venue for the duration of the tournament.
Scotland’s games will form part of a celebration which Glasgow is sure to get behind as the seven day football festival kicks-off.
Ahead of the first match, a short, colourful ceremony will take place to open the 2016 tournament.
And before that, the 512 players from across 52 countries will parade through the city from their base at Glasgow Caledonian University. Along with coaches and key support staff, they’ll make their way through the city and down into George Square, via Renfield Street and The Tron with the aid of the Williamwood and Johnstone Pipe Bands.
Other notable fixtures on opening day include a mouth-watering fixture featuring men’s holders Mexico against Argentina (1625 BST), whilst the same nations feature against each other in the women’s tournament (1800 BST).
Of the other home nations in the women’s tournament, Wales face the Netherlands (1645 BST) and England take on Greece (1740 BST), on the first day. The men’s competition sees England open up against Russia (1355 BST), whilst Wales are scheduled to open up against Canada (1400 BST).
100,000 spectators are expected to visit the Homeless World Cup during the week-long festival, with organisers stating it will be, “the most inspiring place on the planet”. Entry is free & no tickets are required, albeit it is expected at key times (particularly when Scotland play) it will be very busy.
The Homeless World Cup arrives in Glasgow as part of a three way partnership between the Homeless World Cup Foundation, the Scottish Government (delivered via EventScotland), and Glasgow City Council (delivered via Glasgow Life).
Every game (416) from the Homeless World Cup will be live on homelessworldcup.org and YouTube. Selected international outlets will stream games via EverSport. Coverage will be produced by host broadcaster, QTV Sports. Broadcaster Rory Hamilton will lead match commentary.
In Scotland, STV is the home broadcaster, and will show extensive live coverage on STV Glasgow, STV Edinburgh and the main STV channel.
This includes the opening ceremony along with Scotland men and women’s opening games. Thereafter there will be live games every night at 1700 BST, and a magazine programme hosted by Peter Martin at 1830 BST. The Finals of both men’s and women’s tournaments will also be shown live, on 16 July from 1900 BST. Two highlights programmes are scheduled for the main STV channel on 14 July and 17 July.
A comprehensive list of all opening group fixtures are available on www.homelessworldcup.org.
Mel Young, president and co-founder of the Homeless World Cup comments:
“Today is a key milestone in the journey towards Glasgow 2016, when the tournament really starts to come alive. We’re sure the people of Glasgow will give Scotland rousing support during the tournament, and that the same Scottish spirit, will be extended to all our visitors.”
Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said:
With the announcement of these opening fixtures the excitement is really starting to build. The Scottish Government is proud to support the Homeless World Cup. I believe it’s one of the best examples of the power of sport to bring people together and change lives for the better.”
Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, said:
“Scotland may not be at Euro 2016 but the Tartan Army will still be able to see our men and women in action this summer at the Homeless World Cup. Excitement is building with today’s announcement of the official fixture list giving fans details of all matches.
“There will be no more inspiring place to visit than George Square when the action finally gets underway early next month. It will be a fantastic celebration of football in one of our most iconic locations and I have no doubt that it will be a big hit with people of all ages.”
Renowned sports journalist and one half of STV’s City Channel’s Peter & Roughie, Peter Martin said:
“I’m looking forward to bringing all the action from the Homeless World Cup to viewers from across Scotland on STV Edinburgh and STV Glasgow and also the STV Player. With two highlights programmes planned for STV’s main channel, it’s fantastic that such an inspirational event is being given such prominence so that people can support the Scotland teams no matter where in the country they are.”
Former Scotland striker Gordon Smith, who will co-present coverage of the Homeless World Cup with Peter Martin adds:
"I'm looking forward to co-presenting coverage of the Homeless World Cup on STV. It promises to be an inspirational tournament with some incredible stories, kicking off with Scotland's games against Hong Kong and Norway. Hopefully thousands of people will come down to George Square over the course of the week to be part of what's sure to be a brilliant event."
Team Scotland men’s player William McGeouch (55) from Glasgow comments:
"Now it's starting to feel real. We cannot wait to walk out in front of a packed stadium on George Square to kick-off the Homeless World Cup. For all of us it's been a journey of hard work, and now we're excited to get things started against Hong Kong."
Team Scotland women’s player Krissi Rodgers (25), also from Glasgow says:
"Norway will present a really tough test, but we're feeling ready for the challenge. For all of us involved in Street Soccer Scotland's programmes this is a real journey. We've got fantastic team spirit, and we hope that, along with the support of the nation we will go far into the tournament."
Key opening timings are:
12.15pm Teams will being their parade from Glasgow Caledonian University, along and down via Renfield Street, through past The Tron and then into George Square
12.30pm Opening ceremony will begin as the players arrive and take their seats in one section of the stands
12.40pm The 64 captains will enter the main stadium and parade their 52 flags, one by one. Scotland will arrive last
12.50pm The Homeless World Cup men’s and women’s trophies will be presented to the crowd following live music from an artist to be announced
1.00pm Kick-off – Scotland v Hong Kong (men) followed by Scotland v Norway (women)