Cape Town ready for Homeless WC
Thursday September 21 2006
The 2006 Homeless World Cup will kick-off as part of the official Presidential celebrations for Heritage Day at the Grand Parade on Sunday, September 24.
The tournament's official website reports that 500 players from 48 nations will march from District 6 to the Grand Parade to unite the world to kick poverty into touch. The march will begin at 9am from Trafalgar School.
Integral to the Presidents Heritage Day Celebrations, and following the President's Military Salute, each captain from the 48 nations will carry their flag and march in front of South African President Thabo Mbeki. This will take place at 11.25am.
One of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen and the first world-class striker to arise from Africa, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, will kick the first ball of the Cape Town 2006 Homeless World Cup, for host nation South Africa who will play the first match of the tournament. This will take place between 1.30pm and 2pm and expect fast-paced grass-roots grit, spirit and glory from that moment through to the final day on Saturday, September 30.
Mel Young, the President and co-founder of the Homeless World Cup, said: "We are honoured to be involved with President Thabo Mbeki's Heritage Day celebrations and also welcome an international soccer legend, one of Africa's greatest players, to unite and change the world forever.
"It is the city that gets behind the tournament, gets behind the players that makes the Homeless World Cup great. We invite the people of Cape Town to make this tournament the best ever. Get into the Homeless World Cup."
Eusébio said: "To open and to kick-off the Homeless World Cup is a poignant moment for everyone. For all the players involved standing proud to represent their country and take courage to change their lives.
"And for sport as it demonstrates that grass-roots soccer can change lives, change the world. I'm delighted to be involved in this sporting event, and invite Cape Town and the rest of the world to get into the Homeless World Cup!"
Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Andrew Arnolds, said: "The City of Cape Town is proud to be associated with this important social and sporting event.
"In our quest as a City to improve the lives of its inhabitants and eradicate poverty, we welcome the Homeless World Cup to help change negative perceptions about people who are not as privileged as others.
"I urge all of Cape Town to come and join us at the Grand Parade to meet these 500 players, all of whom have truly inspiring stories to tell."
Gert Oosthuizen, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation said: "The Homeless World Cup underlines the positive impact sport can have on people's lives.
"By participating in the Homeless World Cup, these players gain a new respect for themselves and are motivated to aspire to great heights. Some of them even go on to play professional sport. This event is not just for sports lovers, but also for society as a whole.
"The Department of Sport and Recreation is delighted to be supporting an event of this nature, and are looking forward to the positive influence it will have on the lives of so many people."
A number of key personalities are expected to attend the Homeless World Cup throughout the week and lend their support to 500 players as they take the courage to represent their country and change their lives forever and compete for the fourth Homeless World Cup.