15 October 2009
During the final week of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, 32 teams from across the globe will converge on Alexandra in Johannesburg for a very different festival of football.
While the World Cup will bring together the greatest football teams on the planet, the Football for Hope Festival 2010 will assemble 32 teams that represent the power of the game for social change.
The teams taking part will represent organisations from around the world that use football to tackle such issues as ethnic violence in Israel and Palestine, environmental pollution in the slums of Kenya, HIV/Aids education in South Africa, landmine education in Cambodia, and gang culture in Ecuador.
From 4 to 10 July 2010, in a specially built stadium in the heart of Alexandra, mixed teams of boys and girls aged 15 to 18 will compete in a fast-paced tournament to be crowned Football for Hope world champions on 10 July 2010.
There will be no referees – any disagreements between the teams will be resolved through dialogue – as, for the first time ever, the social dimension of the game will be integrated into an official event of the Fifa World Cup.
More than just football
But the Football for Hope Festival 2010 will be more than just a football tournament. Each delegation has been selected not for their skill on the pitch but for their contribution to social change in disadvantaged communities around the world.
And during their stay in South Africa, they will take part in workshops and activities where they will learn from each other and improve their work.
“The Football for Hope Festival will be a unique opportunity for organisations using football as a tool for social development in every part of the world to interact with each other and to showcase their programmes on football’s biggest stage,” said Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
“We look forward to welcoming them to South Africa and experiencing together how football is contributing to building a better future.”
50 organisations from 35 countries
The participating delegations represent over 50 organisations from 35 countries, including traditional football powers like Germany, Cameroon, Brazil and Argentina, as well as others such as India, Lesotho, Tahiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Australia, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.
- See the full list of delegations on www.streetfootballworld.org
The festival will also include a programme of cultural celebration between the international delegations and their South African hosts.
The City of Johannesburg, which will organise the festival along with Fifa, streetfootballworld and the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committee, hopes that the event can help write a new chapter in the history of Alexandra, which suffered from xenophobic attacks in 2008.