Poznan 2013 Homeless World Cup Diary (Day 2)

Bit of a restless night. Can’t really complain as it was the sound of people being happy that kept me up. People of all nations gathering together outside of my window singing songs till 2AM (none of them were lullabies).

Today was a particularly good day in terms of the Scotland team. Two wins from two, 9-6 over Argentina and 5-2 over near neighbours Wales, seeing the team through to the secondary group stage of the Homeless World Cup.

The games were entirely different to each other and showed how flexible the Scotland squad are. Argentina were small, spry and able to pass the ball very well, whereas Wales were big physical guys, lacking in pace but equipped with massively powerful shots.

I feel a fair bit of conflicting emotion surrounding the tournament. As a symbol of what those cast out by society can achieve, the Homeless World Cup is an incredible beacon of hope. But there is something unsettling about seeing some of those on the fringe of economic and societal survival running around sponsored by Coca-Cola and other such giants. Although it is a nice gesture that a company of that size would contribute to a cause like this, I can’t help but think it’s their fault that a tournament like this exists. From deforestation, to barefaced economical brinksmanship these companies play a massive role in destroying our planet.

That said, without massive financial support the Homeless World Cup and the dozens of Street Football programmes around the world would not be able to function and the hundreds of smiles I’ve seen over the past two days would not exist.

Onwards with positivity, Scotland have been drawn against reigning champions Chile, as well as¬†Denmark,¬†Namibia, The Netherlands, and Romania. A challenging group but one I’m sure they will be ready for.

Poznan 2013 Homeless World Cup Diary (Day 1)

Image

This probably doesn’t really count as a day, as I only got here at 6PM and caught the tail end of the last game. It would be easy to wax lyrical about post-soviet brutalist architecture colliding with the ultra modern developments popping up across the city but that’s not really my concern.

Poznan appears to be solely populated by the young, the polite and the beautiful, as do the Halls of the Politechnika Poznanska.

Most of the 60+ teams appearing at the 2013 Homeless World Cup are staying in the University Halls, including Scotland, and myself. Admittedly the accommodation is a bit sparse but there’s an incredible atmosphere around of international collaboration and friendliness that translates on to the pitch as well.

After a close run defeat and an 8-1 thrashing of India, Scotland find themselves in good stead to qualify through to the second group stage to continue competing for the Homeless World Cup with a victory tomorrow.