The Tampere 2020 Homeless World Cup was due to take place between June 28 – July 5, and more than 500 players from around the world were invited to participate in the week-long festival of football. HFCA received the very sad news on Friday evening the 20th of March that the 2020 Homeless World Cup in Finland was cancelled due to recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Paraic Grogan, founder of Happy Football Cambodia Australia said "HFCA understands and respects the decision of the host city and the Homeless World Cup to cancel the event. Our players were very upset at this outcome as they trained so hard to prepare for this trip of a lifetime but they also understand why the decision was taken. HFCA would like to apologise to all our donors and sponsors who contributed to our preparations for Finland especially Smart Axiata and Collingwood Rotary Club"
Mel Young, co-founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation said: “We tried our very best to hold this year’s Homeless World Cup but sadly it became impossible due to the practicalities surrounding the global pandemic. Our commitment to using football as a way of tackling homelessness remains one hundred percent and we will continue to work flat out in conjunction with all of our global partners to end homelessness.”
Perttu Pesä, President of the Local Organising Committee in Tampere said: “We have to be strong and fight against COVID-19 together. Health is our number one priority and we must carry out our responsibilities. I’m worried about the homeless people all over the world, who don’t have access to health services. Now, more than ever, is the time to be compassionate and loud, we have to keep people safe, no matter what your social class is.”
Plans for the 2021 Homeless World Cup are ongoing, with details to be released at a future date.