Boys in green impress in Homeless World Cup campaign

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Team Ireland’s street league national side took part in the Homeless World Cup in Chile last week.

The boys in green did extremely well in the early stages of the competition, beating Greece 11-1 in their opening round, and bounced back from defeat from Mexico to beat Wales 6-2.

They went on to narrowly triumph over Romania 7-6, and beat Ghana in a penalty shoot-out before beating Costa Rica to put them in with a shout of winning a trophy.

However, a further loss to Costa Rica and Poland knocked them out of the competition, but due to their impressive start to the tournament meant that they were still eligible to enter the next highest ranking tournament the Dignitary Cup.

The Homeless World Cup’s aim is to beat homelessness through football, and Team Ireland is organised by the Big Issue Street League.

They mainly work with the Homeless, drug and alcohol dependant individuals in rehabilitation, ex-offenders, long-term unemployed with identified learning disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers.

The Big issue Street League operates eight leagues in Ireland and two in Dublin, while they also run programs in Wheatfiled prison and Mountjoy jail in Dublin. They also hold an All-Ireland tournament each year from which a panel of players are selected from which the team to represent Ireland in the Homeless World Cup is chosen. Selected players from the leagues are given the opportunity to obtain coaching credentials.

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