A team of eight Cambodian football players will leave for Britain on the 25th of July to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia in the Homeless World Cup - an annual football tournament that aims to energise underprivleged people to change their own lives. 2019 is the 17th edition of the Homeless World Cup and it will take place in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, part of Britain, from July 27-August 3.
The eight players heading to Britain to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia. Image Scott Rotzoll.
British Ambassador to Cambodia, Tina Redshaw, wished the Cambodian team well in their bid for glory in Wales. "I welcome the fact that the Cambodian team are traveling to the UK to compete in the Homeless World Cup in Cardiff.’
“I too will be cheering for you and the Cambodian team during the competition. Enjoy the experience of being in Cardiff – it’s a beautiful city – and the experience of being part of such a fantastic global event,” she said to the players.
“On behalf of the United Kingdom and on behalf of Cardiff, I would like to wish you the best, to the players, the coach and staff, and I look forward to hearing how it went.”
British Ambassador Tina Redshaw meets the team and speaks to Cambodian team coach Kimhong Thong. Image Scott Rotzoll.
Kimhong Thong represented Cambodia at the 2015 Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam, Netherlands and has since gone on to become the HFCA regional manager and head coach of our HFCA program in Siem Reap. Kimhong was recently appointed to coach the Cambodian team in the upcoming Homeless World Cup in the UK.
“I want to thank HFCA and the Homeless World Cup for giving me the opportunity to play football for my country in Amsterdam. Being part of the HFCA program has changed my life forever. Now to be given the honor of coaching my country at an international football tournament in Europe makes me feel so proud. I am aware that this is a great responsibility but I promise the people of Cambodia that the team will give 100% in every game,” Kimhong Thong said.
HFCA Founder Paraic Grogan speaking to the media at Cambodian press conference. Image Scott Rotzoll.
The Homeless World Cup has been running every year since 2003, when just 18 teams participated. This year, 64 teams from 51 countries will take part in the biggest ever edition of the event.
A recent survey of Homeless World Cup participants found that:
94% say the Homeless World Cup positively impacted their lives;
83% improved social relations with family and friends;
77% changed their lives significantly because of their involvement with football; and 71% continue to play the sport.
Cambodian team in Paris for the 2011 Homeless World Cup. Image Mik LaVage
“The positive effect that playing in the Homeless World Cup has had on people’s lives around the world, including here in Cambodia, makes all the effort worthwhile. We are so grateful for the support we receive from our main sponsor Smart Axiata, from the Cambodian Children’s Fund and from the Collingwood Rotarians in Melbourne. Without them we would not be able to do what we are doing again for our 11th year attending the Homeless World Cup,” said Paraic Grogan, who founded HFCA in 2005 and now runs the organisation.
At our press conference, HFCA were delighted to have their sponsor Smart Axiata on board for another Homeless World Cup, as Smart Axiata first supported the team at the 2011 Homeless World Cup in Paris, France and have being a sponsor ever since.
Jonathan Yap from our sponsor Smart Axiata shares his thoughts on the upcoming Homeless World Cup. Image Scott Rotzoll.
Speaking at the event, Jonathan Yap, Head of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs of Smart Axiata said he was proud of the company’s contribution to support the Cambodian team, as well as of the impact of HFCA’s work. “The Homeless World Cup presents an array of opportunities for the young Cambodians from HFCA – from showcasing their football skills while visiting a country abroad to meeting peers from other countries. Smart strongly believes in the power of sports such as football to develop sustainable communities. I look forward to seeing HFCA engage more young people in a wide range of constructive activities, providing a fun way to keep fit and healthy, and also sparking their imagination through empowerment,” said Jonathan Yap
The 2008 Homeless World Cup in Melbourne. Huge crowds attended the games at Federation Square. Image Supplied.
Cambodia first took part in 2008 when the tournament was held in Melbourne, Australia and has attended 10 of the 11 tournaments held since then. Participating in the Homeless World Cup has helped close to 60 young Cambodians turn their lives around in the last decade and inspired over a thousand youth to join our program during this period, taking part in an formal organised sports program for the first time in their lives. At least ten former Homeless World Cup players are giving back as coaches, working part time with HFCA to teach the next generation of Cambodian footballers.
Cambodia take on Argentina in the 2015 Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam. Image P Grogan.
This years Homeless World Cup will have more than 500 players from 51 nations with 64 teams. 48 squads in Men’s competition and 16 in Women’s competion.
The Men’s teams playing for 6 trophies and the Women’s teams play for 2 trophies. Defending Men’s champions are Mexico who beat Chile 6-3 in the final last year and Mexico are also the Women’s defending champions after a win over Colombia.
Squad of eight players with four players on the pitch at any time. The games are 14 minutes long with 2 halves, 7 minutes each. The pitches 22m x 16m. Expected 200,000 spectators, thousands watching online and millions following action via social media.
All 13 Cambodian games will be shown live on our HFCA facebook page