Football really is coming home.
No, not that one – street football is returning to Graz today. No longer mainly famous for being the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Austrian city was the host of the first Homeless World Cup back in 2003 when 12 teams kicked off a tournament that has grown to be a 64-side phenomenon.
This week the European Street Football Festival sees the beautiful game return to Graz’s main square with 14 teams representing 11 European nations taking to the pitch. England have sent over a men’s squad to pit their skills against sides from Germany, Slovenia and the Czech Republic as well as two Austrian squads.
European Street Football Festival kicks off in Graz in the square where @homelesswrldcup started 15 years ago Austria beat Germany in great opener but everyone is a winner here. Sport changing lives. @UEFA@sportscotland#Graz#ComingHomepic.twitter.com/4wg5VlquRD
— Mel Young (@melyoung53) July 4, 2018
As for the women’s competition, Wales are also competing with Bulgaria, Belgium, and Greece.
The week-long event will mark the culmination of the Homeless World Cup Foundation’s Erasmus+ Project – a three-year team-up with the European Commission to improve links between homeless football associations across the continent.