Teams heading to Paris include last year’s winners Brazil, India, Kenya, France,Cambodia and Indonesia, who will be attending the event for the first time.
Crowds of over 50,000 are expected to watch the event in specially prepared arenas in the centre of the City withing touching distance of the famous landmarks of the City.
Mel Young, Founder and President of the Homeless World Cup, is expecting an unprecedented level of interest in this year’s tournament. He said:
“Due to the increasing impact of this global event we have received more applications than ever before from nations wishing to appear at the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup. This is a phenomenal opportunity for France and the City of Paris to unite and show the world the true power that football has to change lives.
“The Homeless World Cup exists to end homelessness. The impact of this competition is profound. It has engaged over 100,000 homeless people since it started and over 70% of participants have changed their lives for the better. The Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup is an opportunity for homeless people to move from being invisible to stand proud on a global stage, and be the true ambassadors for their country that they are.”
Arsène Wenger, President of the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup Local OrganisingCommittee said: “What is important for a guy who is homeless is to give him a target again in life, for him to know that when he gets up he has training. He takes a shower,has lunch and knows that he has training again the next morning. It gives him something to think about, it gets discipline into his life again. When you lose that discipline, it becomes one of the big problems for young people. They cannot find a jobbecause they are not shaved, not showered. Everybody rejects them, they feel on the outside, excluded.”
The Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup supporters include UEFA, United Nations, Nike, and Global Ambassador Eric Cantona and international footballers Didier Drogba, and Rio Ferdinand.
UEFA President Michel Platini explains why they are involved with the Homeless World Cup and why more people need to be involved.
"UEFA have partnered the Homeless World Cup since its first edition in Graz, Austria in 2003. We share its vision of helping homeless people through football. UEFA not only cares about football, UEFA cares about ending homelessness."
Patrick Mbue, from France is one of four Global Ambassadors for the Homeless World Cup. Patrick arrived in France from Rwanda. He found himself in a strange country, without a work permit, and unable to earn an income he became homeless. Patrick is now a coach with top French football club and 8 times French Cup Winners Paris St Germain.