Mexico City will celebrate a decade dedicated to changing lives of people without shelter all over the world when the 10th edition of the Homeless Football World Cup goes on stage from October 6 to 14 at the Plaza de la Constitucion situated in Zocalo and a team from Cambodia will be among the 54 nations joining that global party.
Co-founded by Scotsman Mel Young and Austrian Harald Schmied, the Beautiful Game has made a lasting impact on the lives of hundreds of young, under-privileged people around the world since its inception in 2003 at the Austrian city of Graz.
In those nine intervening years the event’s global appeal has grown many fold and so also its social impact in energising young people to better their own lives through football.
Ever since Cambodia joined the fold in Melbourne, Australia, four years ago, the Kingdom’s commitment to the event has deepened with the main sponsors of the Cambodian team, the Happy Football Cambodia Australia playing out a stellar role as an agent of change.
Scotsman Jimmy Campbell, who has been spearheading the Cambodian campaign as the HFCA head coach completed the selection process a few days ago and has now released a final list of seven players to represent Cambodia in Mexico.
Those who will be making the trip under Jimmy Campbell’s supervision are Sovannarith Keo (Cambodian Children’s Fund), Sophea Pin (Cambodian Kids Foundation), Panong Kin (Cambodian Kids Foundation), Phi You Sin (Happy School), Sophondara han (Riverkids Foundation), Chhanna Oun (Cambodian Children’s Fund) and Chhun Malivy Lek (Riverkids Foundation).
The head coach has been working with the touring members every weekend in preparation for the country’s fifth appearance. But away from the pitch and intense training, Jimmy Campbell is also working hard in fundraising efforts for the trip.
The annual Charity Cup, held in May this year, was a resounding success, raising as much as US$3,000 for the HFCA Project. Into its third year, the 10-team Charity Cup moved to the newly built Beeline Stadium, located in the Chroy Changavar peninsula.
The second annual HFCA charity auction held last month at the Paddy Rice Irish Bar, one of HFCA’s supporters, brought in an additional $4,000 for the Cambodian team’s journey to Mexico.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]