Mel Young

Earlier today, President and co-founder of the Homeless World Cup, Mel Young spoke to The Homeless Goal.

The actual concept of a tournament was discussed over a beer with fellow co-founder, Harald Schmied.

Initial discussions for a one-off street football competition took place after the 2001 Cape Town conference on homelessness, but it soon became apparent this would not be the case following the success of the first Homeless World Cup in Graz, Austria.

Mr Young said: “We were only ever going to do that one [tournament].

“We never thought we would do it every year, but it was so successful that we decided to do it as often as we could and we’ve done 11 events now.”

The first tournament featured 18 countries – compared to 70 in the last tournament in Poznan, Poland – and the players were sellers from national street papers.

Eleven years on and the tournament has got bigger with each host providing something different every year.

“We just played on the street there [Graz, Austria]. We didn’t play on the pitch surfaces we have now,” said the Scottish social entrepreneur. “It made it different.

“The players were staying in dormitories. There were converted classrooms, so there was 10 in a converted classroom.

“All of that was fine and the atmosphere was great, but the whole standard of it has increased now.

“It’s bigger. It’s well organised.

“Sometimes people ask me, which is the best one [host], but I would say they’re all different. There isn’t a best one.”

The full interview with Mel Young is available below.

For more details on the million seater virtual stadium, head to

Follow The Homeless Goal on Twitter @TheHomelessGoal

You can also find Mel Young and the Homeless World Cup on Twitter @melyoung53 and @homelesswrldcup


The Homeless Goal Trailer

The time has almost come for the full documentary to be released, but for now you will have to watch The Homeless Goal trailer.

In the trailer you will briefly see the journey from Santiago, Chile to Poznan, Poland through the eyes of Carlos Guzman and Priscilla Ibacache.

Carlos and Priscilla are part of the sports social program, Futbol Calle set up by sports marketing company, Accion Total.

Take a look at the trailer below and leave your comments below.

Continuous updates on The Homeless Goal Twitter page @TheHomelessGoal.

Publicity in Chile

When showing how a worldwide sport can help beat worldwide issues, it is only right that what you show is shown worldwide.

So, this is why I recently spoke with Chilean magazine, I Love Chile, and provided them with the project’s journey so far, my involvement and how The Homeless Goal started.

It is the basis to what is hoped to be the first of many advertisements of The Homeless Goal documentary and project.

Below are my thoughts not long after arriving back in England from the Homeless World Cup in Poznan, Poland.

My time with Futbol Calle

About a year ago I was involved in my first documentary– an award winning one, nonetheless. On that occasion, I had six other people helping to produce it.

One year on and I am in post-production for my second documentary. This time it is just me producing it, however.

The Homeless Goal takes you through the 2013 Homeless World Cup campaign of Chile’s sports social program, Futbol Calle. There is a specific focus on two players – Carlos Guzman and Priscilla Ibacache – with details on their life and their tournament progression.

It all started at the beginning of 2013 when I went to a workshop about the opportunity of filming a solo documentary in a “developing country”. After initial interest, I began to search for story ideas.

One of my ambitions is to show how football is not just a sport, but it is something that can reach out to people and help. On top of this, I have always wanted to go to South America. You can see where this is going.

I took to Twitter and searched for my story. After a number of suggestions, taking me to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, I come across I Love Chile’s very own, Daniel Boyle.

After telling Daniel what I was searching for, he gave me a few options. Futbol Calle was the immediate standout for me. I grew up in an area that has a reputation for drug abuse and many other social problems, so it was understandable why a sports social program would stand out.

A few discussions took place with Futbol Calle and before I knew it, I was applying for funding to head off to Chile and film my first solo documentary. I am sure I do not need to tell you whether I was successful in getting the funding or not.

In July, I came to Chile and started the filming process. It was a very daunting situation for me. Not only was I filming my first solo documentary, but I was also in another country on my own for the first time, too. I should also point out that I know very little Spanish, so you can see the sort of problems that faced me.

The trip to Chile was important, because it meant I had met with the staff of Futbol Calle and I got to see how the program works first hand. As we all know, plans change quite often.

Initially, I was going to do the documentary about the actual program of Futbol Calle itself. How it is run and how it helps people, etc. However, it soon came to my attention that I needed to do something a bit better and so I looked at going to Poland to film the 2013 Homeless World Cup.

Several meetings with Futbol Calle later, and I managed to bag myself exclusive access to the two Chilean teams in Poland. I was fortunate to be able to stay in the same accommodation as the team. In fact, I slept in the same room as Juan Erazo, the head coach of the male and female teams.

Again, this was a daunting experience for me. This time I knew no-one and had only spoken to three of the staff members in person. Not even Daniel could help me now! I knew this would always be a problem, the language barrier was the worst, and getting my point across for what I wanted in the documentary was a challenge.

However, this all changed in a very small amount of time. I started to bond with the players and staff as the tournament progressed and I appreciated how patient they were with me.

I know deep down, Futbol Calle were bitterly disappointed about how the tournament finished. The Chilean hombres were looking good until they faced eventual winners, Brazil in the semi final. They were unable to pick themselves up and lost the third place play-off on penalties to Russia.

As for the Chilean mujeres, I really thought they would win the tournament. To see them lose in the final to Mexico was a real shock to everyone in the camp. They probably played the best football in the entire tournament, but I believe nerves got the better of them in the end.

When leaving Poland, I felt I made some great friends, but most importantly I gained an experience in broadcasting that I never thought I would have. I will always be grateful to everyone that has helped with the documentary – particularly Carlos Guzman and Priscilla Ibacache who shared their difficulties in life with me.


Poland: Contrasting emotions

Well…there are only so many words I can post today.

The final stages of the Homeless World Cup began today, starting with the quarter finals.

I filmed the whole team as they waited in the reception for the bus to leave.

Hopefully people get to feel the anxiety when watching the clips of the team on the bus.

Everyone was optimistic, but you could tell most of them were nervous.

Filming the documentary has made me do things I have never done before.

Keeping hold of a camera whilst filming on a bus, but getting good quality, is a challenge.

The afternoon started well with both teams winning and progressing to the semi-finals.

What happened next left a very weird feeling.

Chile mujeres played poorly, but they still managed to beat Kyrgyzstan 4-3 and have a chance to win the Women’s Homeless World Cup in tomorrow’s final against Mexico – a repeat of last year’s final.

From the high emotions of winning, to Chile hombres being thrashed 6-1 by Brazil.

Silence fell amongst the camp and I could barely concentrate on filming.

Anyway, I did what needed to be done and then spent a long time at Lake Malta trying to convert and transfer footage.

On my return to the accommodation, I was unsure of how to approach the team.

With limited Spanish, I did not feel I could approach them with any sympathy.

Instead, I did the professional and journalistic thing and stayed out of the way!

Tomorrow, the Chile hombres will play for third place, but the big game takes place in the late afternoon – Chile mujeres v Mexico.

I hope I have better news to report tomorrow.

By Kyle Waller

Poland: Calm before the storm

Today was a fairly calm day in the camp.

Both teams had virtually qualified for the quarter finals of the Homeless World Cup.

My characters had a day off, so I just kept to filming the matches and recording interviews.

The men of Chile continued their 100% record with wins over Scotland and Denmark.

Whilst Chile mujeres comfortably beat Kyrgyzstan.

A fairly stress-free day for everyone.

The action starts tomorrow though.

I will be speaking with Carlos and Priscilla again before the quarter final stages begin.

Chile hombres will play Indonesia, and the mujeres will face Netherlands.

The semi-finals are within reach, but can both teams reach their ultimate goals?

I also hope to finally interview tournament director, James McMeekin.

James and I will discuss the current World Cup and the one taking place in Chile next year.

Sorry today’s post has been a bit blunt and boring.

Hopefully tomorrow I can give you more exciting information!

See you then.

By Kyle Waller