The official charity of England's football players have today (8 March) announced their support for the Deloitte Street Child World Cup.
Team England has said it will fund the participation of Manchester Youth Project M13, the ‘UK ambassadors’ for the tournament in South Africa in March.
The Street Child World Cup aims to bring teams of street children from around the world to take part in a football competition to coincide with the FIFA World Cup.
The former England captain, David Beckham, said: “I know from personal experience just what power football can have to inspire and change young people’s lives whatever their background or nationality. This is what the Deloitte Street Child World Cup is all about and I give it my full support.”
The investment forms part of the players’ Outreach Programme, an initiative developed by the squad to improve opportunities for disadvantaged children and young adults across the country.
The week long event is an initiative led by the UK Human Rights, Amos Trust and is supported by BMS World Mission, Compassion UK and many local churches.
Street children from countries including Brazil, India, Ukraine, Tanzania and South Africa will unite in their love of football and demand street children are given their rights.
Chris Rose of the Amos Trust: “We are thrilled to have the England team support the M13 Youth Project’s participation in the first event Deloitte Street Child World Cup. The England team know better than anyone the pride of representing your country and together we can make the voices of street children be heard.”
Helen Gatenby from M13 Youth Project said: “Although children in the UK clearly do not face the same issues as those living on the streets in other participating countires, the UK team will go to listen, learn, participate on an equal footing and share their own valuable experiences of life in Ardwick.”
The tournament has the backing of leading international politicians, dignitaries and football figures. Gordon Brown is amongst those who have sent a message of support.
Biza Madolo, former Street Child and coach of Umthombo FC, the South Africa street child team, said: “The Deloitte Street Child World Cup and its legacy is not only wonderful news for Umthombo and street children in South Africa but also for street children from across the world. I am proud to be a part of this unique event.”