THE Homeless World Cup Foundation has announced that the inaugural Four Nations Challenge Cup will take place in Edinburgh on September 18-19.

The teams will be in Scotland’s capital to compete for the Four Nations Challenge Cup and will be bringing a men’s and a women’s team for the two-day event.

The Mound Precinct will host the tournament and the unique outdoor pitch will be on the doorstep of The National Galleries of Scotland, just of Princes Street.

After two postponed annual tournaments because of the pandemic, the Foundation has introduced this special two-day regional event between Street Football Partners from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Allowing players from the home nations to compete again and mark the return of Homeless Football tournaments for not just the Foundation’s UK partners but also the 70 plus partners around the globe.

Taking place over two-days, teams will compete in a round-robin tournament on the Saturday ahead of a Finals Day on the Sunday. The first game on both days will kick off at midday and before the action gets underway on Saturday, the first-ever tournament of its type will be opened by Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross.

The weekend will also feature entertainment and exhibition matches. On the Saturday, invited key workers will play in a special one-off game and on the Sunday, a team of MSPs will take on the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a team of Scottish authors who will also play a set at 4pm on the Sunday to close the tournament after the trophy presentation.

Mel Young, President and Founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation, said: “The Homeless World Cup Foundation is delighted to introduce this unique tournament for our Street Soccer Partners in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Four Nations Challenge Cup will use the same pitch layout and rules of our annual tournament and will allow players, who have been starved of competitive football the chance to be doing what they love and be out on the pitch again and representing their country.

“Since 2003 we have proved that using the power of football can change lives and though our partnerships across the world we want to include and support as many people as possible.

“With the past two annual tournaments being postponed due to the pandemic, we wanted to take the opportunity to create something for the players involved and we couldn’t think of a better location in Scotland’s capital city for this showcase event to take place.

“We hope that passers-by will drop by and watch some quality football, some fun exhibitions matches and enjoy the other entertainment we’ve got planned across the weekend.”

Wales’ Lloyd Jones

Lloyd Jones, who is playing in his first tournament for his country, said: “I just really enjoy playing football. One of my support workers introduced me to Street Football Wales. It’s been great for me. They’ve been a massive help.

“Ever since the first time that I came, the enjoyment has been building up and building up. It’s so nice to feel part of a team. It’s a great bunch of boys and we all get along really well and support one another.

“Physically and mentally, it’s been doing me so much good. I know that I have something to look forward to every week. That makes you feel so much better in yourself. I’m really happy where I am.”