Homeless World Cup expands to record numbers

The 2012 edition of the Homeless World Cup will feature a record number of teams, with debutants such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Moldova due to take part in Mexico City.

The 2011 Homeless World Cup took place in Paris
The 2011 Homeless World Cup took place in Paris ©Esme Deacon

A record total of 72 teams will take part in the men's and women's competitions at the 2012 Homeless World Cup, it has been announced, with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Moldova among the countries involved for the first time.

The Homeless World Cup will celebrate its tenth anniversary next year with the 2012 tournament scheduled to run between 6 and 14 October at the Plaza de la Constitución in Mexico City. Scotland will travel to Mexico as men's champions following their 2011 triumph in Paris in August, while the European contingent in the 16-nation women's competition has been expanded to five, with Hungary set for their debut alongside England, the Netherlands, Norway and Scotland.

President of the Homeless World Cup, Mel Young, said: "We are delighted to build on the momentum of our first decade with a tournament that welcomes the highest number of players in our history. In these critical times, it is more important than ever that we continue to spread awareness to combat the global issue of homelessness."

The Homeless World Cup is a unique pioneering social enterprise that exists to end homelessness by using football to energise homeless people. The event inspires national grassroots football projects and engages over 30,000 homeless players a year to change their lives. As part of its drive for social responsibility, UEFA has backed the Homeless World Cup since its first staging in Graz in 2003.