Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been confirmed as host city of the UEFA-backed 2010 Homeless World Cup, an international football tournament energising people who are homeless to change their lives.
Copacabana beach will be the official venue in September next year. The following year, Rio will hand over to Paris with a venue adjacent to the Eiffel Tower while the Polish city of Poznan will stage the 2013 Homeless World Cup. The international organisers are currently exploring the opportunity to host the 2012 Homeless World Cup in Asia.
Football benefiting society
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.
Mel Young, president of Homeless World Cup, said: "Rio is the perfect location to host the 2010 Homeless World Cup. Brazil is the home of football with many of its star players rising from the streets to the global football stage. With the infrastructure created to host the world's greatest sporting events, and government and businesses committed to using football for real, lasting social change, we are impressed by the impact the Homeless World Cup will generate for Rio, Brazil and the rest of the world.
"We are excited to see the Homeless World Cup, and its impact, travel from Milan in 2009 to Rio in 2010 and then Paris, with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop in 2011. This is an incredible journey for the Homeless World Cup that will clearly demonstrate football is changing the world."
The Homeless World Cup has triggered and supports grassroots football programmes in more than 70 countries, involving over 100,000 players since the beginning. Over 70 per cent of participants change their lives by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, homes, education, or becoming football coaches, players and social entrepreneurs.
This year's Homeless World Cup will be held from 6 to 13 September at the Arena Civica, Sempione Park in Milan, and brings together 48 nations and 500 players. For more information visit homelessworldcup.org.
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