Cambodia’s homeless world cup squad have ended their cup bid for another year and will soon return to the kingdom knowing that they gave their all, and were superb ambassadors for the nation at the 17th edition of the Homeless World Cup in Cardiff, Wales.
“After thirteen games of football in eight days, the team is exhausted having left everything on the pitch, said Paraic Grogan who founded Happy Football Cambodia Australia in 2005 and now runs the organisation.
“Seeing them receive their medals and sharing special moments with all the teams from 48 countries was fantastic. On and off the pitch, they’ve been brilliant ambassadors for Cambodia and everyone who met them commented on how warm, friendly and respectful they were. We’re so proud of our team. Susu Cambodia,” he added.
The kingdom’s final act of the competition was a 6-3 defeat to Slovenia in their last stage 2 match on Saturday. But despite the loss, Team Cambodia were proud of their display in Cardiff.
On the final day, Cambodia were also able to snap pictures with Welsh acting legend Michael Sheen.
After funding goals fell short late on, Sheen stated he made a substantial financial contribution to ensure the competition went ahead.
“We got into a bit of a state so I essentially put everything I have into this,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “You either commit to this stuff or you don’t. But now I’ve got to pay for this, so I’m going to have work a bit more now, because this has cost me more than I expected,” he added.
More than 500 players represented over 50 countries in the week-long festival of football, in what has been recognised as one of the most inspiring Homeless World Cup tournaments yet.
First organised in 2003, the competition uses football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives.