In an unprecedented show of solidarity, five top Scottish football clubs—Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibernian, and Rangers—have united to financially back the Ukrainian team’s entry into the Sacramento 2023 Homeless World Cup. This move will ensure Ukraine’s participation in this year’s tournament, amid challenging circumstances.

In collaboration with the Homeless World Cup Foundation, the quintet of Scottish football clubs have donated a sum that will cover Ukraine’s travel costs, thus ensuring their representation at the 18th edition of the Homeless World Cup. This marks a significant event, as this year’s tournament is being hosted by the US for the first time in its 20-year history.

For many years, the Ukrainian organisation ‘The Way Home‘ has partnered with the Homeless World Cup, forming an integral part of the tournament since 2004 and even emerging victorious in Milan in 2009.

The Sacramento 2023 Homeless World Cup is scheduled to run from the 8th to the 15th of July at California State University, Sacramento. The university’s Hornet Stadium will be the main venue, and will also provide on-campus accommodation for the players from countries worldwide.

The Homeless World Cup is an annual football tournament that has taken place in remarkable cities worldwide, from Paris to Melbourne. It provides men and women who are homeless or have experienced homelessness a unique opportunity to represent their country.

Homeless World Cup - Sacramento 2023 logo

Mel Young, Co-founder and President of the Homeless World Cup, lauded the Scottish football clubs for their generosity in ensuring Ukraine’s participation. Young said, “All five clubs didn’t hesitate when asked to help our Ukrainian partner with their journey, demonstrating how impactful football and sport can be in making a difference to the lives of so many.”

Representatives of the five Scottish football clubs; Aberdeen’s Chief Executive, Alan Burrows, Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Hearts, Andrew McKinlay, Hibernian FC’s Non-Executive Chairman Malcolm McPherson, and Rangers Charity Foundation Chief Executive, Connal Cochrane, all expressed their delight in being able to support this initiative. The representatives of the five Scottish football clubs emphasised the transformative potential of football and sent their best wishes to all the participants in the tournament.

By assisting Ukraine’s participation in the Homeless World Cup, these five Scottish football clubs have exemplified the power of football in not only bringing people together but also raising awareness and advocating for global issues such as homelessness.

Quotes from representatives of each of the Scottish football clubs

Football is a game for all and as a club we were delighted to play our part in supporting Ukraine’s journey to Sacramento to participate in the 2023 Homeless World Cup.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine shouldn’t be a barrier for those looking to participate in sport and the Homeless World Cup is the perfect example of how football can inspire and change lives for the better.

We wish them all the best in the tournament.

Aberdeen’s Chief Executive, Alan Burrows

Working with the homeless community is a regular feature of what we do here, and we are delighted that we can assist with this in some small way. “Football is universal and the Homeless World Cup is everything good about the game that we all love. I hope this year’s event in the USA is a great success for everyone involved.

Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton
Scottish Football - Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton

We’re delighted to have supported the Ukrainian team at this year’s Homeless World Cup. Everyone connected with Hearts knows well the power of football and how it can be a truly positive force in our lives.

The conflict in Ukraine, and the widespread homelessness seen across the planet, affects us all. Initiatives like the Homeless World Cup are vital in raising awareness and supporting this global issue.

Everyone at Heart of Midlothian wishes the teams, organisers and all participants the very best when the tournament begins in California next month.

Chief Executive of Hearts, Andrew McKinlay

The relationship that our club and supporters have with Ukraine is quite unique. Whether that’s through the work done by the Hibernian Community Foundation or through Dnipro Kids, we have all been committed to helping Ukrainian people through this incredible difficult time.

We’re proud to be able to continue that support by backing the Ukrainian team at this year’s Homeless World Cup, which shines a light on two great issues that affect everyone worldwide; the conflict in Ukraine and global homelessness.

Football is an incredibly powerful sport, and initiatives like the Homeless World Cup can inspire, enforce change, and raise awareness of these global issues.

Everyone at Hibernian FC wishes everyone taking part in the tournament great success.

Hibernian FC’s Non-Executive Chairman Malcolm McPherson
Scottish Football - Hibernian FC’s Non-Executive Chairman Malcolm McPherson

What a wonderful way to come together for a common cause. I hope the Ukrainian team create powerful memories and many new friendships in Sacramento.

Connal Cochrane, Rangers Charity Foundation Chief Executive

Our own thoughts on the contribution by these Scottish football clubs

We’d just like to say what a generous contribution this is by these five fantastic Scottish football clubs, especially through these trying times. But it shows that football truly is a universal language that transcends sport itself and is a powerful tool that can be used to unite people and bring them together all around the world.

For even more coverage on the Homeless World Cup and football in general, click here to head to our football section.