The UEFA Champions League atmosphere has come to the UEFA-backed Homeless World Cup in Copenhagen this week.
Players from the 48 participating countries were invited to watch the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie between FC København and Beitar Jerusalem FC at the Parken Stadium in the Danish capital on Tuesday, which the hosts won 1-0.
In addition, former Manchester United FC and France forward Eric Cantona has given a training session to the players, while referee Kim Milton Nielsen – who took charge of the 2003 UEFA Champions League final – has officiated at matches in the competition. The Homeless World Cup features some 500 players who are being given an opportunity to change their lives.
Players from all continents have been in action in the tournament, braving changeable weather conditions in Copenhagen's Town Hall Square. Four-a-side football is being played according to special Fair Play rules which give priority to offensive tactics. The final is on Saturday, and will be watched by HRH the Crown Prince of Denmark.
The Homeless World Cup is an annual international football competition, uniting teams of people from around the globe who are homeless and excluded. It also supports and inspires grassroots football projects throughout the year, working with homeless and excluded people.
UEFA has backed the Homeless World Cup for several years as part of its social programme. By adopting a flexible and clear social responsibility policy, European football's governing body is supporting the belief that football should be used as a force for broader benefit within society, deploying its potential to influence attitudes and behaviour beyond the confines of the stadium.
Since 1999, UEFA has been reinvesting fines imposed in UEFA competitions for specific purposes such as humanitarian aid, social and educational projects. The Homeless World Cup receives UEFA support because it has a strong link with football, has a set of clearly defined goals and successfully develops the use of football as a tool for fostering inclusion.
Click here for more details of the Homeless World Cup.
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