From Graz to the rest of the world
As European Capital of Culture in 2003, Graz’s main square staged the inaugural Homeless World Cup- A street football world championship for people “on the fringes of society”: the homeless, refugees, those with alcoholism or other addiction problems.
Football’s potential for social inclusion quickly became apparent. Players experienced team spirit, motivation, self-worth and through their experience in street football, were able to leave their social isolation behind.
This social potential of sport has been experienced annually at the Homeless World Cup. From Rio de Janiero to Paris, Milan to Mexico City, around 70 countries are represented every year, and support their players in taking the steps back towards living a “normal” life, through football.
Since the beginning of the Homeless World Cup, Austria’s partner has been Caritas Styria. We manage the Austrian Homeless World Cup team, which is reselected every year to contain new players. However more importantly we push the socially inclusive power of sport to the forefront of the Initiative Goal in Austria.