UEFA has presented it’s annual 1 Million Swiss Francs Charity Cheque to the organisers of the Homeless World Cup. Brazilian star Ronaldinho and UEFA CEO Lars-Christer Olsson handed over the symbolic cheque (650.000 €) in Monaco.
Every year, UEFA awards a cheque to a charity of its choice, to coincide with the UEFA Super Cup match and gala event in Monaco to herald the start of a new UEFA club competition season. It has previously gone to the Special Olympics and Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).
The Homeless World Cup is a street soccer tournament uniting teams of homeless people from around the world to kick off global poverty. Organised by the International Network of Street Papers, the event has received UEFA's support since the first edition of the tournament in Graz, Austria in 2003.
Lars-Christer Olsson, CEO, UEFA said:
“The success of the Homeless World Cup is built on the enormous power of football in social inclusion. The world's most popular team sport can definitely help people to move on in life. The Homeless World Cup has set up a new frame for the empowerment of homeless people. Consequently the Homeless World Cup aims to bring up a new image of homeless people in the world. The UEFA is very keen to be a patron of this excellent initiative.”
This year’s hugely successful tournament was held at Edinburgh’s Princes Gardens in July where Italy retained the championship. Since the 2004 Homeless World Cup a staggering 74% of players have moved on with their lives proving the power of sport for transformation and change. South Africa will host the 2006 Homeless World Cup.