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Crown Princess Mette-Marit opens Homeless World Cup

On 29 August, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway had her first event since her return from her holiday. She opened the Homeless World Cup – World Championship in Street Soccer for Homeless People in Oslo.

During the eight days of the championship, 450 games will be played between 70 teams from all around the world. This is the 15th edition of the tournament. The first edition took place in Austria in 2003. It is held annually, and it is the first time Norway hosted it.

After the parade, which took place at Oslo’s City Hall Square, Crown Princess Mette-Marit had the honour of kicking off the football of the first game of the championship, between Norway’s and Chile’s women’s teams.

Crown Princess Mette-Marit watching the championship on Wednesday in Oslo. She is seated by Mel Young, founder of the Homeless World Cup. Photo: Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

This tournament is organised by the Homeless World Cup Foundation as a way to use football as an inspiration to people living or having lived in the streets, as well as dealing or having dealt with addictions. It also aims to change the perception the general public has of homeless people. The primary goal for the participants is to gain back self-confidence. Norway’s teams are managed by Norway’s Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is also responsible for several local teams and championships all across Norway.

One of the Crown Princess’s leading causes is helping the youth and mental health, and this shows in the work of the Crown Prince Couple Foundation. Her Royal Highness is very involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS with the United Nations and the stigma around it; she is also the Patron of the Norwegian Red Cross. She also attended several events of the Salvation Army over the years.

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