The Italian city of Milan will host 500 players from 48 nations at the 7th Homeless World Cup – the UEFA-backed international tournament using football to energise homeless people to change their lives.
The 48 countries will represent all five continents, ranging from Argentina to Brazil, England to Germany, Australia to Cambodia, Hong Kong to India, and Ghana to Malawi. Italy, two-time Homeless World Cup champions, will be aiming to regain the title in front of a home crowd.
Street soccer stadium
A street soccer stadium built at the Arena Civic, Sempione Park – the historical venue of the very first Italian national-team game against France – will welcome an estimated 100,000 crowd during the tournament week. They will experience the true grit, spirit and glory of street soccer with everything to play for, in the heart of one of the most football-passionate nations and cities in the world.
Significant life change
There are one billion homeless people in the world, including 50,000 in Italy. Over 70 per cent of players at the Homeless World Cup experience a significant life change – coming off drugs and alcohol; moving into homes, jobs, education and training; repairing relationships; becoming coaches and players with semi-pro teams or social entrepreneurs. Since 2003, the Homeless World Cup has engaged more than 100,000 players and has triggered football programmes in over 70 nations.
Football's social benefit
By adopting a flexible and clear social responsibility policy, UEFA is supporting the belief that football should be used as a tool for broader benefit within society, employing its potential to influence attitudes and behaviour beyond the confines of the stadium. Since 1999, UEFA has reinvested fines imposed in UEFA competitions for specific purposes such as humanitarian aid, and social and educational projects. The Homeless World Cup receives UEFA backing because it has a strong link with football, has a set of clearly defined goals, and successfully develops the use of football as a means of fostering inclusion.
In memory of Cannavò
The Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup is dedicated to the memory of Candido Cannavò, renowned journalist at Gazzetta dello Sport, who passed away recently. Visit homelessworldcup.it or homelessworldcup.org for more information.
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