Homeless World Cup to transform George Square

Homeless-World-Cup-2016-George-Square-Artist-Impression-smallGlasgow’s George Square is to be transformed into a stunning arena with three football pitches and seating for 3,500 spectators when it plays host to the Homeless World Cup later this year.

From 10-16 July a total of 48 men’s and 16 women’s sides will participate in a week-long celebration in the heart of the city, which for the duration aims to be the “most inspiring place on the planet”.

It is expected that about 100,000 supporters will attend the tournament. In addition to each of the pitches, there will be space for music, merchandise and more.

Adapting George Square is a complicated process, given a number of historic monuments and the city’s Cenotaph, which will be fully respected in the course of creating the event.

The tournament takes place in Scotland as part of a three way partnership between the Homeless World Cup Foundation and principle funders, the Scottish Government and Glasgow Life.

Homeless World Cup co-founder, Mel Young, said: “George Square is a unique location to host this year’s Homeless World Cup. Our mission is to bring the tournament to the centre of the cities we visit, because homelessness isn’t something that should be tucked away. We need to talk about it, therefore being here was very important.

“The nature of the site means it’s an interesting build which has involved a real multi-agency approach, particularly with our colleagues at Glasgow Life, but we’re confident that when the wrappers come off for real in July, Glasgow will be amazed – and ready to join a real celebration.”

Paul Bush OBE, director of events for VisitScotland, which is managing the Scottish Government’s investment in the Homeless World Cup, said: “The Homeless World Cup is set to be an incredibly important event for Scotland, inviting people, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience our warm welcome, to the country and generating discussion about the issue of homelessness at all level of society.

“It puts Scotland at the heart of a global movement and will ensure that the eyes of the world centre on Glasgow, which we believe will be the most inspiration place on the planet over the course of the tournament. The look and feel of the arena will, of course, have a massive part to play in this, and these artists impressions give a terrific indication of the transformation that George Square will undergo in time for the first kick-off on July 10.”

Depute leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham OBE, added: “The Homeless World Cup will be one of the highlights of a spectacular year of sport in Glasgow. George Square will come alive as thousands of fans cheer on teams from across the globe during what is shaping up to me an inspiring and unmissable festival of football.”

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