The Homeless World Cup, the international tournament that uses football to beat homelessness, has announced the official world rankings for 2011 as preparations get underway for the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup. And India finds itself ranked 45th amongst 68 ranked nations. India only finished 35th in the Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup, dropping two places.
Despite having never won the Homeless World Cup, Portugal has been rewarded for their consistent form in the tournament, including a fourth place in Rio 2010 by being ranked number one over all. In second place is Brazil, who jumped one position in the rankings following their victory at the Rio 2010 Homeless World Cup. Ukraine, winners of the Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup slip from first place to third in the rankings following a ninth position finish in Rio. Men's finalists Chile were amongst the biggest movers gaining ten places to sit in tenth place whilst debutants Palestine join the rankings in 27th place.
In the inaugural Women's Team Rankings, Brazil, holders of the Rio 2010 Women's Homeless World Cup, tops the table followed by finalists Mexico and third placed Haiti.
Mel Young, Founder and President of the Homeless World Cup said: "This is brilliant news for Portugal who have performed consistently well and run an excellent project all the year round. It's not only about rankings, it's also about participation and having fun as we prove yet again that sport can make a huge difference in people's lives."
Henrique Pinto, Project Director of partner project CAIS and manager of the Portugal Homeless World Cup team, said: "To be the top ranking side is an unmistakable worldwide recognition of the serious hard work the CAIS Association has done during the past eight years. Players from Portugal have participated in every Homeless World Cup tournament and have not only proven to be winners on the football pitch but also beyond it, this is an excellent example of what it means to be empowered and autonomous again."
Beating homelessness through football, the Homeless World Cup is an annual international football tournament supporting and working with grass roots projects in over 70 nations and involving over 50,000 homeless people globally. 70% of the players at the Homeless World Cup experienced a significant life change.
The ninth edition of the Homeless World Cup takes place from August 21 to 28, 2011 at Champs de Mars, Paris in France, before the baton is handed to Mexico in 2012. The Homeless World Cup is supported by UEFA, Nike, global ambassador Eric Cantona and international footballers Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand.
To see where your country is ranked, please click here: Homeless World Cup rankings .