02 September 2017

THE centre of Oslo, Norway, came to a standstill as the opening parade of the 2017 Homeless World Cup, hosted by The Salvation Army, took place. Flags from all participating nations transformed the main boulevard of Karl Johans Gate into a sea of colour as the teams made their way, singing and dancing, from Oslo Central Station to the venue for the tournament at Rådhusplassen, the City Hall Square.

Led by the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces, and rounded off by a Salvation Army massed band, the high-energy parade saw approximately 700 participants snake their way passed some of the city’s most recognisable monuments. A carnival atmosphere was assured thanks to the cacophonous noise of the Egyptian team’s potent drumbeats, the war cry of home side Norway, South Africa’s entertaining dancing, Mexico’s luchador mask-wearing fiesta and Grenada’s convivial chants. All this exemplified the fun at the heart of the tournament’s ethos and helped set the tone for the World Cup, even before a ball was kicked.

The Salvation Army hosts the 2017 Homeless World Cup

The opening parade and ceremony were attended by HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Founder of the Homeless World Cup Mel Young, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Anniken Hauglie, Oslo’s Mayor (Marianne Borgen) and Governing Mayor (Raymond Johansen), and Commissioner William Cochrane, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army’s Norway, Iceland and The Færoes Territory.

On behalf of the tournament’s organiser, Commissioner Cochrane welcomed everyone to Oslo. The Salvation Army band played and there was a traditional Norwegian dance, before the Crown Princess opened the Homeless World Cup with a memorable kick of the ball, to the great excitement of the crowd.

The tournament’s first game between the women’s teams of Norway and Chile resulted in a 1-10 defeat for the host nation against the former world champions. The second game, between the men’s teams of Norway and Brazil, saw a 6-3 win for the South Americans.

Matches of the qualifying second stage continue to be live-streamed at homelessworldcup.org and finals take place next week.

Compiled from a report by the Norway, Iceland and The Færoes Territory

Tags: Europe, Events