The ball that will change the world

The Ukrainian street soccer team, composed of the people in crisis, is preparing for the main street soccer tournament of the year – the Homeless World Cup that will take place in Oslo, Norway, august 29 – September 5, 2017.

The regulations of the Cup only allow the participants to take part in the tournament once in a lifetime. It ,means that the team is always new. The European championship cold have been a great opportunity to train together and prepare for the World Cup, but for many reasons, including financial, the team could not participate in the game.

Here you can read more n the history of the Ukrainian street soccer teams as a participant of the European and World Cup

It was very important for the Ukrainian team to take part in the European Cup/ the team could be more prepared for the World Cup/ for many years, the lack of the stadium for the games remains the main problem for the team. The special court is needed – 20 by 10 meters with the specials boarders. Also, the gates for the street soccer are different- 4 meters wide and 1.5 meters high. The small field and the large gates are the conditions for the street soccer players – so that even the players with the limited abilities could score the goal. The game itself is very short but intense, the dynamics is high so that the scores are also unusual, like 7:7 or 12:5. It is really a celebration of the attacking soccer. The court expenses would be about 30 to 40 thousand dollars, so we are not expecting to have it in the closest future. So the team decided to make the court by their own hands, making it from the mini-soccer field. They have made new marks, and the boarders were made from the special blocks. In the beginning of august, the team is planning to start training in the new, handmade court.

The main coordinator of the Ukrainian street soccer team, formed from the people in difficult life situation, is the Odessa Charity Foundation” Way Home.

By the ethical rules, the situations of the participant are not being revealed. We can say only that each of them has faced difficulties in his life, it could be drug dependency, alcohol, the absence of home or work. The preparation for the World Homeless Cup is a big thing for each of the participants, it stimulates the people to changes for better. One of the players did not have a legal passport for a long time, but now has his passport, because he is upto participate in the World Cup in Oslo.

The soccer team is mixed – there are women there as well as men. It is allowed by the Cup regulations. On the Cup of 2015, when the Ukrainian team took silver, there were 2female members. One of them keeps the soccer career until now and is a player of the national female team of Ukraine.

The new trainer of the team is Vlad Britkovski, the vice world champion (goal keeper). “This is my first experience being as a trainer. When we collected a new team, they had no idea what is a street soccer. Some of them played mini-soccer and some of them play a traditional, big soccer. Then we watched the video and it became clearer for them. Another thing is now to train and play good. As soon as the self-made court will be ready, we will start training. I will try to collect the players from our “Silver” championship and play with the new team a few games. It would be a great preparation,” – the trainer said, “I have played in the final game of the World Cup and now it is the honor for me to be a trainer of the new team».

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