While professional athletes continue to tarnish the thrill of competitive sports there’s still a chance to witness competition in its purest form at the Football World Cup for the Homeless taking place in Milan, Italy next September. The tournament pits 500 homeless players from 48 nations against each other to see who will reign supreme as the World Football champions. Last year Afghanistan defeated Russia to take the glory but this year they’ll face a stiff-challenge from strong teams out of Brazil, France, Japan and the U.S. (won’t they be surprised to find that football is played with a soccer ball!). Organizer Berhard Wolf says that the tournament has been designed both to highlight the problem of homelessness and also to help the homeless overcome their problems,and he claims that the tournament has proven a huge success with 77% of players experiencing a “significant life change” after participating in the event. ”It is... pure therapy for those taking part,” says Wolf, “because football has a magic effect.” Get all the vitals at HomelessWorldCup.org.

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