Dream World Cup is the World Futsal Championship for People with Mental Health Problems. The second edition of this competition took place in Rome in May 2018.

Dream World Cup is the perfect demonstration of dreams coming true, even for people who – due to a mental illness see those dreams turning into nightmares. People with mental illness are often excluded by the rest of the world and – as a reaction – they tend to exclude it themselves. These people have a “stigma”: they fear others, their judgments, and are afraid of making mistakes.

What is the Dream World Cup?

  • A major world sporting event with 10 national football teams: Argentina, Chile, France, Japan, Italy, Peru, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine and Hungary. 180 psychiatric patients involved in a 4-day tournament.
  • A great global social event, where over 100 organizations – including sports associations, health facilities and federations in the various participating countries – take the field to fight stigma and encourage the use of football as a psychiatric rehabilitation practice during the 40th anniversary of the Basaglia Law.

Celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the law that closed the mental hospitals in Italy with a futsal world championship for psychiatric patients is a gift to Franco Basaglia.

Football, with its training methods based on clear and defined objectives, improves the general wellbeing of psychiatric patients. In particular, it allows patients to experience gratification, which on the psychological level means “I exist, I can do”, and moreover:

  • It improves the psychophysical balance by stimulating the production of serotonin.
  • It allows to reduce the administration of psychiatric drugs.
  • It decreases the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.
  • It helps to reacquire self-confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness, and stimulates the comparison with other people – and so socialisation.

In Italy almost 800 thousand patients are being treated at mental health centres.

According to the WHO, around 450 million people suffer from mental disorders worldwide.



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European Culture and Sport Organization

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