Home Game

Home Game


A Ball Can Change the World - The Story of the Homeless World Cup

Mel Young & Peter Barr

ISBN: 9781912147199

Binding: hardback

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Back cover text:

An estimated 100 million people worldwide are homeless.

1.6 billion live in sub-standard housing.

But how can such a simple game like football tackle such a complex problem? Mel Young and Peter Barr tell the story of the million homeless people in 70 countries who have taken part in the Homeless World Cup since it was founded in 2003 and the positive impact it has on the players – and everyone else involved, including spectators. From refugees to drug addicts, orphans and the ‘poorest of the poor,’ to homeless people from the world’s richest countries, we read about the moving human drama behind the event and find out how ‘a ball can change the world.’

Home Game provides an insight into the birth of the Homeless World Cup and how it has become such a global phenomenon, by looking at more than just facts. It shows how the power of sport can help excluded people transform their own lives – and how the event has transformed attitudes to homelessness.


When people have a bad deal in life and things haven't been going their way, one of the ways they can get self-esteem back is through sport. The Homeless World Cup does that, and it also puts on the agenda that homelessness is a global issue. We all love football and we all hate homelessness – it's a no brainer.  Irvine Welsh, Novelist and Ambassador for the Homeless World Cup

All over the world, we've got to end homelessness. Everyone should have a home. It's a right and not a privilege. People treat the homeless as if they're sub-human. In order to overcome this discrimination, we have to unite against homelessness as we did when we fought apartheid Archbishop Desmond Tutu, speaking at the Homeless World Cup in Cape Town (2006)