Champions Scotland move up rankings

This summer's Homeless World Cup winners Scotland were the biggest risers of the top ten nations in the annual Homeless World Cup rankings, which have been released.

Scotland won the Homeless World Cup in Paris in August
Scotland won the Homeless World Cup in Paris in August ©Esme Deacon

The latest Homeless World Cup rankings have been released with European nations occupying six of the top ten places in the men's list – and new champions Scotland being the biggest risers having climbed six positions into third.

The 2010 champions Brazil lead the rankings with Mexico – runners-up to Scotland in the 2011 tournament in Paris in August – taking second spot while Ukraine (4th), Russia (6th), Ireland (7th), Portugal (8th) and Poland (9th) also feature in the top ten.

The list is compiled annually following every Homeless World Cup to commemorate the event and commend the thousands of players who have taken part since the inaugural competition in 2003.

President of the Homeless World Cup, Mel Young, said: "The importance of these rankings is not only about final positioning but recognition of the determination and hard work of our players and national partner organisations. Every player participating at the tournament is a winner."

In addition, and following the third edition of the Women's Homeless World Cup which ran alongside the ninth men's finals in Paris, a women's rankings list has also been produced for the first time. Losing finalists in the last two tournaments, Mexico, hold pole position while the top-ranked European country are seventh-placed Scotland.

A UEFA-supported initiative, the Homeless World Cup aims to fight the exclusion suffered by the homeless and to encourage them to change their lives, while also drawing attention to the global problem of homelessness. Mexico City 2012 will be the tenth staging of the annual event.