In the last of our series, we introduce you to CCF footballer Vutha Tum who has been selected to represent Cambodia at the forthcoming Homeless World Cup 2018 in Mexico

Most teenagers heading off to play in a football World Cup would be excited about the prospect of showing off their skills on a global stage. Not Vutha Tum. He cannot wait to go on an aeroplane for the first time in his life.

Vutha, 16, will head to Mexico in November as part of the Cambodia national squad for the Homeless World Cup, one of four CCF players chosen for a team put together by Happy Football Cambodia Australia (HFCA).

As the goalkeeper, Vutha will be a safe pair of hands hoping to keep a clean sheet for his side.

“I am very happy to be going to Mexico,” he says. “It’s the first that that I will leave Cambodia. So it is a big experience for me.”

Born in Phnom Penh, Vutha was brought up by his father, a former soldier turned construction worker, after his parents separated. He joined the CCF program in 2011, along with one of his two sisters, now aged 13.

While he played football as youngster, it was not until Vutha started going to sessions with CCF’s partner HFCA that he began to take the game seriously.

Football has given him a focus and the motivation to push himself to strive to be the best on and off the field. The sport has given Vutha more than he could have imagined.

“Football makes me happy and I am stronger and healthier. I have also made new friends,” says Vutha.

Best of all, he is making his father proud. When Vutha announced that he had been selected to represent Cambodia in a World Cup, his father made sure that everyone in the family –  including those living in the countryside – heard the good news.

“I want to be a professional footballer one day,” says Vutha. “Before then, I have a World Cup to play in and I cannot wait.”

Homeless World Cup 2018


  • 2018 is the 16th edition of the Homeless World Cup
  • It will take place in Mexico City, the country’s capital, from November 13-18
  • More than 500 players from 47 nations with 63 teams
  • Expected 200,000 spectators and millions watching online
  • 400 games across 3 purpose-built pitches
  • Men’s/Mixed playing for 6 trophies. Women’s teams play for 2 trophies
  • Defending Men’s/Mixed champions are Brazil who beat Mexico 4-3 in the final
  • Mexico are the Women’s defending champions after a 4-2 win over Chile in 2017
  • Teams of eight players
  • 2 halves, 7 minutes each
  • On a pitch 22m x 16m

Follow the build-up at www.homelessworldcup.org

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