Costa Rica's marginalized get chance to shine at Homeless World Cup

By Michael Krumholtz

It may look small with just four players on each team defending shrunken goals on pint-sized fields, but the impact that organized street football has on the world’s homeless populations is anything but tiny.

In trying to empower its less fortunate citizens through football, Costa Rica’s Listening to the Homeless Association will bring an eight-person roster to the Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam next month to compete against 47 other countries.

José Luis Monge Fernández founded the association in 2008 and has taken a team to the World Cup every year since. In that span, he’s been able to take rehabilitating drug addicts and impoverished immigrants from Costa Rica to places like Italy, Poland, Brazil, and Chile.

“It’s a struggle but it’s one that you have to keep fighting,” Monge said. “When I started they called me crazy, but we’ve had some success and now I’m even coming out with a book.”

The new book entitled “Del Cartón al Avión,” or “From the Cardboard Box to the Airplane,” details Monge’s seven-year journey of showing homeless Costa Ricans the world through football and the many roadblocks along the way.

The Costa Rican Institute of Sports and Recreation (ICODER) funds the money for plane tickets to the World Cup and other events like the Street Football American Cup, … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times