Seoul to Host First Asian Edition of Homeless World Cup in 2024

SEOUL - South Korea's capital city, Seoul, is set to host the 2024 Homeless World Cup, marking the first time the annual international football tournament for homeless people will be held in Asia, as announced by the event's organizers this week.

According to Yonhap News Agency, The Homeless World Cup Foundation (HWCF) and the Big Issue Korea revealed on Tuesday that the tournament would take place over eight days in October 2024 in Seoul. The specific dates and venue for the event will be disclosed early next year, according to the officials. Since its inception in 2003, the Homeless World Cup has been hosted in various countries including Austria, Sweden, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, but has never before been held in Asia.

The foundation emphasizes the significant impact of the Homeless World Cup on participants' lives and its role in shaping global attitudes towards homelessness, leveraging the universal appeal of football. "Over the years, we have proved that using the power of football can change lives and we remain committed to tackling and ending global homelessness," stated Mel Young, president and co-founder of the HWCF. Young highlighted Seoul's status as a major global city with a strong football culture and fan base, expressing enthusiasm for South Korea's hosting of the event following keen interest from partner organization The Big Issue Korea.

Kim Soo-ryul, head of the Big Issue Korea, expressed hopes that hosting the Homeless World Cup would heighten public awareness about housing rights and encourage supportive social policies. The Korea Football Association Football-Love Sharing Foundation will be responsible for organizing next year's event. Kim Ho-gon, the foundation's director, committed to ensuring the tournament positively impacts global perspectives.

The Homeless World Cup gained wider recognition in South Korea with the release of the film "Dream," inspired by South Korea's first participation in the tournament in 2010. The film, which follows a suspended football player coaching a team of homeless individuals, has brought significant attention to the event within the country.

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