Mexicans add flair to International Street Football Festival
The Homeless FA hosted the inaugural International Street Football Festival between 16-19 November in Manchester with the Men’s and Women’s teams from Mexico starring.
Supported by Kick It Out, Centrepoint, Football Beyond Borders and Copa 90 the tournament provide the competitors with an opportunity to take part in an unique experience away from their daily lives.
Teams from England, Netherlands, Scotland and Mexico took part in a four-a-side tournament at the Victoria Warehouse, situated near Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium.
The festival saw the teams gather three days before the tournament to develop a deeper understanding of football as well as gaining further education to develop their lives. Visits to Old Trafford, Hotel Football and the National Football Museum were also part of the festival activities.
The tournament saw Men’s and Women’s matches take place simultaneously with the teams from Mexico winning both competitions, as they defeated their respective Scottish counterparts in each final.
England Women’s star Fara Williams, who is a Homeless FA Patron, visited the tournament and offered her encouragement to the teams involved.
Speaking during the competition, Fara said: “Every Homeless tournament creates a special atmosphere which is unique to each team and the people taking part.
“I overcame what I have needed to in my own life to play football professionally now, but what I think the Homeless FA does is give people an opportunity to try and get out of very difficult situations.
“When I was younger that opportunity wasn’t available and unheard of so I think the Homeless FA is fantastic and something I am proud to be involved with.”
Kabir Breathen, who captained the England Men’s team at the tournament, summarised his pride of being part of the tournament.
“I’m so proud of my Team England family,” Kabir said.
“We have become one big family during this festival and even the teams that have come in, like the Mexicans, Dutch and Scottish have all been so positive and I love a bit of positivity.
“To lead my team out on that pitch and hear the national anthem was something I dreamt about as a kid. And because I have been so happy I’ve been able to tear it up on the football pitch which is excellent and I could not have asked for anything more.”