Pele – Legend: “I scored my 1,000th goal in Rio de Janeiro and I offered my 1,000th goal to children. I am very happy to be part of Pele Sports which will work with SCWC to be held in Rio de Janeiro”

David Beckham – Former England Captain: “I know from personal experience just what power football can have to inspire and change young people’s lives whatever their background or nationality. This is what the Street Child World Cup is all about and I give it my full support. I look forward to Brazil in 2014 when street children from around the world will play football and represent the millions of children who still live or work on our streets.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, Former Manchester United Manager: “I am delighted that the first Street Child World Cup will take place in South Africa where I know there is a huge passion for football.  No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Elder: “The Street Child World Cup demonstrates the tremendous potential of every single child, and especially street children, who are so often treated as less than human.  I am proud that the first ever Street Child World Cup will take place in South Africa – and I urge all governments to guarantee the rights of this most marginalised group of their citizens to lives in which their promise is fulfilled.”

Thandie Newton – Actress: “The Street Child World Cup hosted by Umthombo is a wonderful opportunity to hear the forgotten voices of Street Children – often marginalised, this is their time to be heard and to shine on the world stage.  From the football field to governments across the world, this is a chance to celebrate the talent that every child has.”

Theo Walcott – Arsenal and England Forward: “I’ve played football as a teenager with the world watching me.  The Street Child World Cup is a brilliant project which will help hundreds of thousands of teenagers who have been forced to live on the streets by getting the world to listen to them and give them a fair chance.”

Edith Bowman – BBC Broadcaster: “The Street Child World Cup is a superb campaign, bringing to attention the issues faced by some of the most vulnerable children in the world”

Paula Walsh, HM Consul General to Rio De Janeiro: “I am delighted to support the Street Child World Cup which kicks off in Rio de Janeiro in March 2014. Building on a successful tournament in South Africa in 2010, the Street Child World Cup is a great opportunity for UK and Brazilian organisations to work together through football for the rights of the most vulnerable of children. No child should have to live on the streets.”

Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP – Former Prime Minister: “No child should have to live on the streets.  I commend the Street Child World Cup for providing a platform for the rights of street children to be heard.”

Mbali – child: “When ever people come across me they laugh. It seems like my mouth is zipped because they talk for us. I wish they could give us a chance to talk for ourselves.”

Andile – child: “When people see us by the streets, they say that we are the street boys.  But when they see us playing soccer, they say that we are not the street boys.  They say that we are people like them.  They are people like us.”

Manny Pacquiao – boxer “I experienced hardcore street life in my youth. I know what it’s like. I congratulate the Street Child World Cup project in it’s commitment to bring attention to the plight of Street Children through the power of football.”

Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP – former Minister for the Olympics: “I was thrilled to hear about the inspiring work being done by the Street Child World Cup. Once again, this event has given us a most powerful reminder of the transformational capacity of sport – as an end in itself but also with the power to unlock otherwise impossible dreams and change the lives of young people. I know from my own experience just how powerful sport can be, and I wish the Street Child World Cup every success.”

Gary Lineker OBE – former England striker: “The Street Child World Cup will use this game, which is loved all over the world, to help give kids a fairer deal. No child should have to be on the street.”

Sven-Goran Eriksson – Former England manager: “The language of football is universal.  Everywhere I’ve been I have witnessed at first hand the power it has to engage and excite people from across the world.  The Street Child World Cup is great example of how this can be used to raise awareness and make an important difference to the lives of those young people that really need our help”

David Seaman – Former Arsenal and England Goalkeeper: “Football and footballers aren’t always in the headlines for the right reasons but the Street Child World Cup harnesses the power of grassroots football to change vulnerable young peoples’ lives for the better across the world through the talent that they have. Good luck to all those taking part.”

Andriy Shevchenko – former Dynamo Kyiv and Ukraine Captain: “No child should have to be on the streets. I am proud to support the Ukrainian team at the Street Child World Cup. Street children need the chance to show the world their potential.”

Wilson Palacios – former Tottenham and Honduras Midfielder: “It was a privilege to be invited to the launch of the Street Child World Cup at Downing Street. It gives children a voice through football, a platform to express their rights and celebrate their abilities – I’m proud to add my support”

Eduardo – former Arsenal and Croatia Forward: “Seeing young people enjoying the magic of football is what the game is all about and I feel honoured to be supporting the event for street children taking place in South Africa.  The Street Child World Cup is a fantastic grassroots initiative giving a voice to street children through the positive power of football. It’s an example of football making headlines for the right reasons. Good luck to all those taking part!”

Aaron Mokoena – Portsmouth Midfielder and South Africa’s Captain and most capped player: “I am proud that the first ever Street Child World Cup will be held in my country in 2010. Football has the power to unite people from all over the world and gives young people the discipline and focus to let their true talent shine. No child should have to sleep on the street. I am delighted that the Street Child World Cup will celebrate these children’s potential and call for their rights to be realised.Good luck to all the teams but especially the South African team Umthombo from Durban!”

Lord David Triesman – Former F.A. Chairman: “The Football Association commends initiatives such as the Street Child World Championships which use the power of football to make a difference to people’s lives”

Gus Poyet – former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Brighton and Hove Albion Manager: “My career is testament to the global village that football has become. The Street Child World Cup is a groundbreaking campaign highlighting the essential rights that all children must be given. From Montevideo via Brighton and down to Durban – let’s spread the word!”

Sam Allardyce – West Ham United Manager: “South Africa 2010 will be watched by most of the World. The Street Child World Cup is the ultimate opportunity for us all to invest in the grassroots of football. Great campaign.”

Owen Coyle – Bolton Wanderers Manager: “The power of football in the community is undeniable and football is now a global community. I support the Street Child World Cup in raising awareness and support through football for the most vulnerable in our community: street children”

Alan Curbishley – Former Charlton and West Ham Manager: “Throughout my career I have been an advocate of community development through football and the Street Child World Cup is an excellent example of uniting through football in support of young people across the World.”

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Endorsements
  • “I experienced hardcore street life in my youth. I know what it’s like. I congratulate the Street Child World Cup project in it’s commitment to bring attention to the plight of Street Children through the power of football.”

    Manny Pacquiao, Filipino professional boxer
  • “When ever people come across me they laugh. It seems like my mouth is zipped because they talk for us. I wish they could give us a chance to talk for ourselves.”

    Mbali, 15, Durban
  • “No child should have to live on the streets and I fully endorse this campaign giving street children a voice to claim their rights”

    Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United Manager