Glasgow has been announced as the host of this year’s Homeless World Cup.
George Square in the heart of the city will be transformed into a street football venue for the international tournament, which will bring more than 500 players to the city in July.
It marks the 14th competition run by the Homeless World Cup Foundation, which aims to support people affected by homelessness through sport.
The defending champions are Mexico, who won the title in Amsterdam in 2015.
Up to 100,000 spectators are expected to attend the tournament, which will see 64 teams compete from 10th July.
Entry is free and tickets are not required.
Foundation president Mel Young said Glasgow will be an “amazing” host city.
“This is significantly more than a football tournament – it’s a real celebration of optimism and hope,” he said.
“We will have 512 players with us, and every single one of them is at some stage of their journey towards a more stable future. We want people to come to George Square in their tens of thousands this July, and feel that sense of optimism, and to be inspired by it.”
Jamie Hepburn, Scotland’s minister for sport, health improvement and mental health, made the announcement at a conference at Glasgow City Chambers attended by supporters, among them Scotland assistant manager and Motherwell manager Mark McGhee and Scotland and Celtic captain Scott Brown.
Mr Hepburn said the tournament is a perfect example of how sport can bring people together and change lives for the better.
“Innovative initiatives such as the Homeless World Cup are so important as an opportunity to help improve outcomes and prevent repeat homelessness, including developing personal resilience which can help individuals achieve their goals. I am looking forward to a spectacular and inspiring tournament,” he said.
“It will provide us with the opportunity, which we thought we’d missed out on, to cheer on a Scottish national football side this summer.”
Street Soccer Scotland, founded in 2009, is the organisation which represents Team Scotland at the Homeless World Cup each year.
The programme delivers football-related personal development and training sessions for around 1,000 socially disadvantaged people every week.