Finland's south-central hub of Tampere will play host to the 18th Homeless World Cup in summer 2020. The week-long tournament will be arranged from 28 June to 6 July in the city's Ratina stadium.
"Bringing the Homeless World Cup to Finland has been our target for several years," Perttu Pesa, president of the local organising committee and Tampere's event director, said in a press release.
Event rules stipulate that eligible players must be over 16 years of age and currently in drug or alcohol rehabilitation programmes and/or have been homeless at some point in the past two years. Street paper vendors and asylum seekers with a residency status or without asylum status are also welcome to try out for the team.
Eight players are eventually appointed to a national team, based on their level of commitment, personal attitude and sporting ability. Each country can apply to send a men's/mixed and a women's team.
Organised since 2003
More than one million people worldwide have participated in some way in the Homeless World Cup since the first tournament was arranged in Graz, Austria in 2003. Women's teams have played in the annual tournament since 2010.
Teams from Mexico came out on top in both the men's and women's premiere series in this year's cup in Cardiff, Wales. Team Finland came in 41st and did not field a women's team. Finland has sent a team to the competition every year since 2006.
The Finnish NGOs, the Salvation Army, the Deaconess Institute, and the Nauha Association will join with the Finnish Homeless Academy and the city of Tampere to organise the 2020 games.