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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July, 2005, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Q&A: Harald Schmeid
The Homeless World Cup is taking place in Edinburgh
The Homeless World Cup kicked off in Edinburgh on 18 July - and you'll be able to catch all the latest action from the tournament right here.

Four graduates from the BBC Tackling Skills project will be reporting on all the games throughout the week-long tournament, which will see 32 countries and over 250 people taking part.

Here is an interview with Harald Schmeid.

Interview with Harald Schmeid - by James Clarke

The idea for the Homeless World Cup (HWC) arrived late one night in a bar in Cape Town.

Harald Schmeid, editor-in-chief of the Austrian street paper Megaphon and his friend Mel Young, President of the International Street Papers (INSP), were discussing future developments for the street paper movement.

Schmeid said: "Let's create a global symbol for the Integration of homeless people, and use the universal language of football as a catalyst."

Schmeid added: "We didn't dream of the HWC making such an impact and each year getting better."

Three years later at the third World Cup in Scotland in the heart of Edinburgh Schmeid said that he thought it would be impossible combining big ideas together with social inclusion.

But, Schmeid seemed surprised how two integrated parts of Edinburgh came together with people coming to add support who walked by towards all of the players.

Young and Schmeid put all of the HWC together but had a lot of help from volunteers, the public, sponsors, the International Uefa and the FA.

With all these great people getting involved it makes a huge difference, and Schmeid thinks that now everyone comes together yearly making a kind of International family.

Schmeid believes that the future of the HWC will grow and due to the great success in Edinburgh and with Uefa's charity award in Monaco it will boost the tournament as a whole.

Already Schmeid said there have already been many bids for countries to hold the games next, including Monaco and Cape Town.

All the immense energy and good vibes within this year's HWC encourages the thought to involve other kinds of projects.

With an encouraging and positive tone Schmeid hope's to expand beyond the 32 teams already involved. He added: "If we get more homeless people the better, that's the mission."

With the first HWC being held in Schmeid's home town he didn't know what to expect. When walking the streets of Graz he talked to shopkeepers who gave tremendous feedback and who still haven't forgotten it to this day.

The event in Graz, which was the voted European capital of culture in 2003, was a great success and Schmeid would love to take HWC to other countries.

Even working with the media has helped amazingly much to his surprise.

Schmeid will be definitely carrying on his role on a voluntary basis building his dream into a real life success.

Links to more Tackling Skills stories


Players gear up for Homeless World Cup
04 Jul 05 |  Tackling Skills

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