AN AMMANFORD man has expressed his delight at being chosen to referee at the recent Homeless World Cup in Cardiff.

The week long festival of football featured teams from across the world, made up of homeless people, competing in Cardiff’s Bute Park to be crowned World Champions.

The tournament was won by Mexico, who defeated Chile 5-1 in the final, having beaten Russia on penalties in the semi finals.

Whilst there was no Welsh representation in the teams from the quarter final stage onwards, Wales being knocked out in the second group stage after success in the first stage, there was a Welshman on the pitch.

Paul Jones, who lives in Ammanford, was chosen to represent the football association in West Wales by being a referee at the Homeless World Cup.

For Paul, it was a chance to do something he loved in a high class environment, surrounded by inspirational people.

He said: “I was absolutely over the moon when I found out I had been selected.

“I have been refereeing for the past four years. It all came out of my love of football. I love the game and this was my way of giving back to it.

“I am a referee in the Carmarthenshire leagues normally, and was put forward on behalf of the Football Association of Wales to referee at the tournament.

“It has been a fantastic experience.”

Paul was one of only 12 referees who worked the tournament, which meant he saw his fair share of action during the week, and also saw the quality of player.

He added: “Some of the quality of football has been absolutely fantastic, and the people have been even better.

“It has had a real festival feel to it.

“Whilst I was aware of the issue of homelessness, it has opened my eyes further to the issues that homeless people face.

“In a way it has changed my attitude. I’ve never had negative feelings, but perhaps in the past I may have crossed the road for a Big Issue seller, but there is no way I would do that now, and I hope the same goes for other people.

“I feel absolutely honoured to have been chosen and to have had the chance to be a part of the tournament.”