Milan became the 2009 European capital of sport on 28 February, taking over from Warsaw. The city has organised 40 sporting events during the year which include three world championships; canoeing, amateur boxing and baseball. It is also hosting the European gymnastic championships.

From 6-13 September the city will hold the Homeless World Cup championships (HWC) international football tournament, involving 64 nations and 700 footballers. The tournament, first started in 2003, now takes place every year. It has given hope to hundreds of homeless and in many chances has radically changed their lives.

The Italian team, the Nuova Multietnica, which was formed in 2001 in a Rom camp on the outskirts of the city, is favourite to win.

According to the vice president of the European parliament, Mario Mauro the sports business in Europe involves 15 million people and is worth