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The story of mixed teams at the Homeless World Cup
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Poznan 2013 is now underway. Although mixed gender teams remain uncommon, their involvement highlights the event's ability to promote social inclusion and give everyone the ability to represent their country.

There are not only men's teams at the Poznan 2013 Homeless World Cup. As well as a separate women's tournament, all men's teams allow female players. This does, however, remain quite uncommon.

Katrin Kretschmer, manager of the German team organised by partner Anstoss, told us that they had been willing to set up a mixed team originally, but the chosen female players had been too timid to join.

Australia's Susana Spicijaric is an important member of her team, competing alongside and against all-male teams. Her male only teammates are very supportive of her and appreciate her role in the team. The team's aim for Poznan is that she scores at least once before the tournament is over.

The Greek team, representing Diogenes NGO, also has a mixed team with one female player, Orthodoxia Skoura. Manager, Christos, told us that they struggled for many years to convince females to play football and this year is the first time they have brought a woman to the Homeless World Cup. Christos said that he and the entire team are proud to play alongside Orthodoxia.

India are another team with female representation, with three women in the squad. Slum Soccer runs a men's and women's tournament in India and because they only had resources to bring one team to Poznan, they decided it would only be fair to bring a mixed team.

Indian manager, Akshay Madhavan, tells us that Slum Soccer aims to use football to empower women, so forming and supporting a mixed team aligns with their organisation's values.

The spirit of the Homeless World Cup is about social inclusion and giving everyone the chance to represent their country - this is what makes mixed teams so special.

Authors

Senior Project Manager
International Platform on Sport and Development

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Europe
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