From packs to pitches: Global Lay's® Replay programme gives packaging a new purpose with sustainable football pitches

In partnership with Lay’s and streetfootballworld, this programme uses football as a force for good in local communities around the world

Purchase, New York, June 24, 2021 – Today, Lay’s® announces a new global initiative, Lay’s RePlay, to bring joy to deserving communities around the world through the power of football. Lay’s has partnered with the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld to reuse empty chip packs to help create sustainable football pitches, uniting communities and driving positive outcomes for people and the planet.

Sebnem Erim, VP, Marketing, Global Foods, PepsiCo comments, “Providing people with joy one chip and one bag at a time is at the heart of our brand. Building upon decades of experience bringing people together with the game, we are proud to introduce Lay’s RePlay. More than just a planet positive pitch, we are working with local partners to build spaces and programmes that can deliver positive impact and change for generations to come.”

Up to five Lay’s RePlay football pitches are expected to open in 2021 around the world, with the first in Tembisa, South Africa, followed by communities in Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and the UK. With the potential of more than 3,600 hours of play and educational sports programmes benefiting over 16,000 members of the community in the first year alone, Lay's RePlay places strong emphasis on including community members and local organisations throughout the planning, construction and maintenance phases of each pitch, with the goal to develop programming that can address social issues impacting each community, while fostering safe access to the sport. For example, in South Africa, local programming looks to empower youth, promote inclusivity, and share key life skills and pro-social behaviours with EduFootball sessions.

Supported by long-time global Lay’s ambassador and six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi shares, “I was lucky enough to start playing football at a young age and it transformed my life. Everyone deserves the chance to play and fall in love with the sport, and Lay’s RePlay is giving communities across the world that opportunity. I’m proud to give back through this project and excited about the impact it can have on the next generation.”

Lay’s RePlay pitches maximise social value, while minimising environmental impact. From the materials making the pitch to the installation, the pitches are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. In partnership with GreenFields, a global artificial pitch manufacturer, the empty Lay’s chip packets are collected from local waste and recycling partnerships and given a second life – shredded and converted into pellets that form the underlying layer beneath the turf, called Ecocept™. Both the turf and Ecocept™ layer are 100% recyclable at the end of their life span. Beyond the turf, Lay’s has committed to adopting a carbon compensation strategy that will ensure all pitches deliver a net zero carbon footprint over their life spans of an estimated 10 years.

This global initiative and commitment by Lay’s has been verified by independent consultancy, Good Business, with an in-depth study finding that Lay’s RePlay pitches have a significantly lower environmental impact than alternative artificial pitches across several areas, including: reduced greenhouse gas emissions, microplastic pollution, recyclable material and turf, ecological disturbance, and water usage.

Aleksander Čeferin, the chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children, states, “We’ve seen first-hand how football and sport can be used to better people’s lives. By working together and supporting Lay’s RePlay, we are having an instant impact on thousands of people who may not otherwise have anywhere to play or an opportunity to develop for the better.”

Lay’s has longstanding ties in the football community and is an official partner of the Men’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s football. The brand launches Lay’s RePlay as a progression of the artificial pitches it developed with the UEFA Foundation for children in Jordan’s Zaatari and Azraq Refugee Camps in 2017 and 2018, which have since provided 35,000 people with access to the sport.

For further information on Lay’s RePlay project and access to the video.

I was lucky enough to start playing football at a young age and it transformed my life. Everyone deserves the chance to play and fall in love with the sport, and Lay’s RePlay is giving communities across the world that opportunity. I’m proud to give back through this project and excited about the impact it can have on the next generation.”

- Lionel Messi, global Lay’s ambassador and six-time Ballon d’Or winner

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08_Lays RePlay Training with Tembisa Participants
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About PepsiCo

Project partner

Lay's Replay

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. For more information, visit


About streetfootballworld

Project Partner

streetfootballworld is a non-profit organisation representing the world’s largest community of organisations implementing programmes in the field of football and sport for good, with nearly two decades building and implementing social impact strategies through sports and particularly football in cooperation with a wide range of partners – from the football industry, sponsors, governments, and private partners. The streetfootballworld network is an initiative created by the organisation to connect and empower community organisations using football in specific, and sport in general, as a tool to drive social impact.

For more information, visit

2021 UEFA Foundation for Children awards announcement

2021 UEFA Foundation for Children awards announcement

19 organisations rewarded for their daily support of vulnerable children

The board of trustees of the UEFA Foundation for Children met by videoconference on 3 June, with the UEFA president, Aleksander Čeferin, in the chair. The board received updates on and discussed the foundation’s ongoing projects, with a special focus on the activities that will take place during the eagerly awaited UEFA EURO 2020.

Appointment of a new ambassador

The trustees unanimously agreed to appoint Eugénie Le Sommer as the foundation’s first female ambassador. The French international and captain of the Olympique Lyonnais women's team, Le Sommer looks forward to shining a spotlight on the foundation’s initiatives, in particular its promotion of gender equality in sport and  empowerment of women. She follows in the footsteps of other international footballers such as Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitić, who also recently became an ambassador to help promote the foundation’s work around the world.

2021 award winners

The board’s spring meeting is also when the UEFA Foundation for Children selects its annual award winners among charities and other organisations working in favour of children's rights. Organisations are nominated by the UEFA member associations. The year, it was decided to share the total amount available (€1m) equally among 19 organisations. Each will therefore receive €52,630.

“The past year has been particularly difficult, but it is encouraging to see how the NGO partners have been able to adapt and innovate to support the growing number of children in need because of this pandemic”, says Aleksander Čeferin. “We are pleased to be able to support 19 additional organisations in Europe through the 2021 UEFA Foundation for Children award.”

List of 2021 Foundation for Children award winners:

IOC code UEFA member association Award winner
ARM Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) Girls of Armenian Leadership Soccer (GOALS)
AZE Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) Azerbaijan Autism Association and  Care-for the healthy generation
BLR Belarus Football Federation (ABFF) international charity ‘Children. Autism. Parents.’
CRO Croatian Football Federation (HNS) Prijatelj association for people with disabilities
CYP Cyprus Football Association (CFA) One dream, one wish’ association for children with cancer
DEN Danish Football Association (DBU) Parasport Denmark
ENG English Football Association (The FA) Football Beyond Borders
FRA French Football Federation (FFF) Comité Ethique et Sport
GER German Football Association (DFB) Agapedia Foundation
ISR Israel Football Association (IFA) Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children
ITA Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Fondazione LAPS
MDA Football Association of Moldova (FMF) Special Olympics Moldova
MLT Malta Football Association (MFA) Richmond Foundation
NED Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur (Youth Fund Sports & Culture)
NIR Irish Football Association (IFA) Irish FA Foundation
Polish Football Association (PZPN) Fundacja dla Dzieci z Cukrzycą (Foundation for Children with Diabetes)
RUS Football Union of Russia (FUR) Culture of Nations’ Fund for Socio-Cultural Development and Innovation
SUI Swiss Football Association (SFA) Florijana Ismaili FI9
WAL Football Association of Wales (FAW) FAW Trust

Call for projects 2021

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s next call for projects will be open from 28 June to 15 August 2021. Applicants from all over the world can submit their project proposals on the foundation website, where all the necessary information and the selection criteria will be published. The board of trustees will select projects and announce its decisions at its next meeting, in November.


Eugénie Le Sommer supports the UEFA Foundation for Children

Eugénie Le Sommer supports the UEFA Foundation for Children

Investing in younger generations is second nature to France’s top female goal-scorer.

The UEFA Foundation for Children is proud to announce that Olympic Lyonnais striker Eugénie Le Sommer has become its first women’s football ambassador. The French national team’s top goal-scorer hopes to use her high profile and football’s popularity to raise public awareness of children’s rights and education issues around the world.

“When they offered me this new role,” she explains, “I jumped at the chance, for various reasons. First, I’m committed to UEFA and understand all the good it can do for the women’s game and I know a bit about its foundation. But, above all, I am very committed to children’s education and giving young people the educational resources they need to grow up in the best environment. I want to help future generations, and I’m already doing that. So, now I’m looking forward to my new role.”

In signing for the foundation, she follows in the footsteps of Ivan Rakitić, the Croatian midfielder who became an ambassador in February.

Meaningful impact

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, who is chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children, is delighted that Le Sommer has committed her time to backing this important cause.

“Eugénie Le Sommer is one of the greatest forwards of her generation but, just as importantly, she is someone who wants to make a meaningful impact off the pitch to give children the chance to have a better future,” said the UEFA president. “I am delighted with the commitment, willingness and energy that Eugénie has shown in helping youngsters around the world, and we are looking forward to working closely with her to achieve these goals.”


Commitment to children’s education

“Education is important to me,” says Le Sommer, “and it’s a sector I want to invest time in. We need to send young people the right messages now, so that they have a positive impact throughout their lives. I also want to share the pleasure of playing and my passion for football by helping those who need it in any way possible. Sometimes, the smallest details can actually change lives. I’ve become aware of that over the course of my career.

“Children’s education, access to sport and equal opportunity are issues that have affected my own life, so obviously they matter to me. But everything the foundation does interests me, and I’m prepared to help out in all the various sectors.”

Supporting girls

Eugénie already has experience promoting youth football. She has accompanied various NGOs to schools to encourage youngsters to play football. She also organises all-girls football camps, called Stage Eugénie Le Sommer. During the two-day camps, girls play together, share advice, talk about their shared passion for football and enjoy some exclusive time with the national team player.

“The most important thing,” Le Sommer explains, “is to enjoy life, and I think that denying yourself what you love for the wrong reasons can only make you unhappy. I can only encourage any girls who want to play football to go for it. You should never live with regrets about missing out on what you love.

“We have a privileged place in society. Using our public image to help those in need is just great. Not everyone has the chance to make other people happy. Nowadays, professional female footballers have that opportunity and that’s a good thing.”

Greater visibility for women’s football

Eugénie is enthusiastic about the revamped UEFA Women's Champions League, because the new group stage makes it more similar to the men’s competition. This format ought to result in greater competitiveness in the game and between teams, thereby raising the overall standard of the tournament.

“It is important for the Women’s Champions League to be broadcast all over the world so it can be seen by as many people as possible,” she says. “Especially in countries where they are less used to seeing women play football. This media coverage will enable young female footballers to progress and improve, for the good of women’s football in general. Girls will gain the inspiration they need as they develop and grow, and that will make all the difference.”

Lyon's French forward Eugenie Le Sommer celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Women's Champions League final football match between VfL Wolfsburg and Lyon at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian on August 30, 2020. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Wolfsburg v Lyon - UEFA Women's Champions League: Quarter Final Second Leg
FC Barcelona Women v Olympique Lyon Women - UEFA Women's Champions League Quarter Final 2nd Leg

Football combats all forms of discrimination

Football combats all forms of discrimination

Seven Football for Unity festivals will be held in UEFA EURO 2020 host cities to showcase how football can create bridges between people and promote the social inclusion of third-country nationals in their host countries.

The UEFA Foundation for Children teamed up with streetfootballworld, the European Football for Development Network and non-profit grassroots football organisations for the Football for Unity project to foster the social inclusion of third-country nationals sustainably through active participation and exchange in football-based initiatives. Football for Unity officially kicked off in January last year, with funding from the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the UEFA Foundation for Children.

Since its launch, Football for Unity has been capacitating local stakeholder groups to implement their own local legacy sports programmes and impactful events against a background of UEFA EURO 2020. Seven Football for Unity festivals are due to be held alongside the tournament in Amsterdam, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, London, Munich and Rome.

“Migration and asylum are major challenges for Europe. The Football for Unity project is based on shared European values, such as humanity and responsibility,” said Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president and chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children. “UEFA EURO 2020 is an ideal platform to show how football promotes social inclusion and multiculturalism. Football has the power to unite people and to promote difference as a strength.”

The potential of sport has become increasingly recognised by the EU, and football in particular has proved to be a powerful tool to foster respect and promote inclusive communities.

“Football has the incredible ability to bring people together, promote mutual understanding and share life lessons with young people for the benefit not only of these individuals, but society as a whole. We are thrilled to be part of Football for Unity, which uses the power of the beautiful game to further social cohesion and drive constructive discourse on migration and inclusion in UEFA EURO host cities and communities,” commented Vladimir Borković, the co-founder of streetfootballworld.

In addition to the Football for Unity festivals, the project brings together young third-country nationals and young Europeans in seven European capitals in a series of local football programmes, youth forums and integration activities. These initiatives offer the youngsters various opportunities to interact, learn from one another, acquire life skills, become agents of change and build a community.


Additional information on the Football for Unity project.





Project partner

A second life for UEFA Europa League centre circle

A second life for UEFA Europa League centre

Hankook Tire produces string bags out of the banner and invites children from local NGOs to attend the final in Gdansk

Long-running official sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, Hankook Tire uses the UEFA Europa League centre-circle carrier programme to literally put young football fans at the centre of the action, walking the centre circle onto the pitch as part of the opening ceremony.

The UEFA Europa League is an important part of Hankook Tire’s sports marketing strategy. Football is one of the most popular sports in the world and plays a major role, in particular, in European countries with high tyre sales potential. Hankook Tire is very pleased not only to be continuing its successful partnership with the UEFA Europa League but also to be using its association with this major event to contribute to such a great corporate social responsibility project.

Most matches in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League were played behind closed doors, meaning Hankook was unable to invite young people to take part in this unique experience.

To enhance the legacy of the programme and to promote sustainability in football, Hankook Tire and UEFA have recycled the 2020/21 banner material into unique, usable bags. From this arose the idea to use the bags for a good cause, in cooperation with the UEFA Foundation for Children. The finished bags, filled of exclusive gifts and invitations to the UEFA Europa League final in Gdansk, were donated to Amp Futbol Polska and Fair Play Program, two organisations working to support children with special needs in Poland. A total of 60 string bags and match tickets were handed over to the children by UEFA ambassador Jerzy Dudek. It was a very special moment for the children and a unique experience to fulfil their dreams of attending a UEFA Europa League final.

“After a long time without spectators I'm looking forward to the UEFA Europa League Final” said Jerzy Dudek, UEFA Ambassador. “It's nice that Hankook, as a long-standing partner of UEFA, supports two such great organisations by bringing them to the game.”

“It’s an awesome experience today made possible by Hankook. Seeing Manchester United and Villarreal FC is something really special for me. A dream comes true” stated one of the young participants.

The bags were produced by German non-profit organisation Lebenshilfe Bruchsal e.V., which supports people with disabilities in various ways, including job opportunities at six production sites it runs in the district of Karlsruhe. Each bag is unique because it is made from a different part of the centre-circle banner.

The UEFA Foundation for Children has secured an additional 50 tickets to the UEFA Europa League final, to be shared by Hope for Mundial, winners of the 11th Polish Football Championship for Children from Care Homes in 2020 and Fair Play Program.




Kids form Fair Play Program


Kids from Amp Futbol Polska

About Hankook Tire

Project partner

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Hankook Tire manufactures globally innovative, award winning radial tyres of proven superior quality for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, RVs, trucks, and buses as well as motorsports. Hankook Tire is aspiring to bring consumers the utmost excellence in product quality, technological excellence and driving satisfaction. Hankook Tire’s European headquarters are located in Neu-Isenburg near Frankfurt am Main in Germany. The manufacturer operates further branches all over Europe. Hankook Tire employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide and are selling their products in over 180 countries. Hankook Tire has been represented in the renowned Dow Jones Sustainability Index World (DJSI World) since 2016. For more information please visit or

FedEx Express and UEFA Foundation for Children support young footballers in Poland

FedEx Express and UEFA Foundation for Children support young footballers in Poland

Over 3,000 player mascot kits donated to charities that use football to connect young people and make a positive impact in their lives.

Warsaw, 25 May 2021 – FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, has donated over 3,000 football kits to young footballers in Poland in cooperation with the UEFA Foundation for Children. The donation was organised in connection with the UEFA Europa League final, taking place in Gdansk on 26 May. FedEx Express is an official sponsor of the UEFA Europa League.

The 2021 UEFA Europa League final is being held at Gdańsk Stadium. In advance of the event, FedEx Express and the UEFA Foundation for Children have donated football equipment to more than 3,000 young Polish in footballers. Młodzieżowe Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Sportowych (MSIS), located in Mragowo, received 800 football kits and 200 footballs. Over 2,500 kits and 200 balls were also donated to Amp Futbol Polska to support two initiatives: the Junior Amp Futbol programme aimed at children and young people with amputations and limb disabilities, and the Futbol Plus project supporting football academies for children with various disabilities.

“Football offers many opportunities for social integration and well-being. Especially in these challenging times, it is important to support young people in their physical development. As a company, we want to promote sport among children and continue to complement our professional football sponsorship with locally beneficial initiatives. Our team is incredibly proud of this part of our sponsorship,” said Mariusz Mik, Vice President Ground Operations Eastern Europe, FedEx Express.

This is one of many joint initiatives by FedEx Express and the UEFA Foundation for Children to promote sport among young people. Since becoming official sponsor of the UEFA Europe League in 2015, FedEx Express has collaborated on various programmes that use football as a platform for social change, as well as organising player mascots for the finals in Basel (2016), Stockholm (2017), Lyon (2018) and Baku (2019). The player mascots programme has given over 1,000 children a chance to meet their football heroes. For many of them this was a unique and unforgettable experience. While taking the necessary precautions, Polish children will have the chance to meet their football idols at this year’s final on 26 May.

We are grateful for the generosity of our partner FedEx Express, who has decided to invest in programmes promoting football in underprivileged communities and supporting the football for good movement. With the player mascot programme, we give children living in Poland  an experience that will forever remain in their hearts and memories.

- Urs Kluser, General Secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24:  The match officials prepare to lead the two teams out prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Simon Hofmann - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

2017 UEFA Europa League final in Stockholm with children from three community football projects:

Barn till Ensamma Mammor, Trygga Barnen and Kista Sports Club.

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2018 UEFA Europa League final in Lyon with children from Sport dans la Ville

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - MAY 29: Fedex during the UEFA Europa League Final between Chelsea and Arsenal at Baku Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Joosep Martinson - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

2019 UEFA Europa League final in Baku with an all-girl player mascot line-up in support of women’s football at a grassroot level promoted by Football Federation of Azerbaijan.

BASEL, SWITZERLAND - MAY 18:  Fedex player escort kids are seen prior to the UEFA Europa League Final between Liverpool and Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on May 18, 2016 in Basel, Switzerland.  (Photo by Simon Hofmann - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

2016 UEFA Europa League final in Basel with children from four community football projects:

Dream Team Basel; SRD Young Stars; Basel Helps; Pestalozzi Children’s Village

About FedEx Express


Project partner

FedEx - Purple_Orange

FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable deliveries to more than 200 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed up the delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $79bn, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively and innovating digitally under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 570,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. FedEx is committed to connecting people and possibilities around the world responsibly and resourcefully, with a goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2040. To learn more, please visit

UEFA Foundation for Children signs Ivan Rakitić

UEFA Foundation for Children signs Ivan Rakitić

Croatian legend is "looking forward to putting smiles on children's faces" as the organisation's first official ambassador

The UEFA Foundation for Children is proud to announce that Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitić is to join the organisation as its first official ambassador. The former Croatian international will have the opportunity to take part in UEFA Foundation-led initiatives, as well as promoting the good work undertaken by the body to help improve the lives of children worldwide.

“To be a part of the UEFA Foundation family gives me a lot of pride,” Rakitić explained.

“I’m really happy about it, and it gives me a lot of responsibility to show everyone that together with the UEFA Foundation and all the players we can accomplish a lot and, above all, help children all over the world smile with joy. The fact that I’m a father of two girls means that I know and understand how important it is to see that smile on children’s faces.”

Commitment to improving lives

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, who is also chairman of the board of the UEFA Foundation for Children, is delighted that Rakitić has committed his support to the organisation.

“Ivan Rakitić is not only one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, he is also a person who wants to make a tangible difference away from the pitch in order to improve the lives of others,” said president Čeferin.

“I have been extremely impressed with Ivan’s commitment and desire to help children around the world and we are looking forward to working closely with him in order to achieve these goals. The door is always open for players, both past and present, to follow Ivan’s example and join the UEFA Foundation in an ambassadorial role.”

Being part of a family

Having won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona in 2015 and a year earlier the UEFA Europa League as captain of Sevilla, Rakitić also amassed over 100 caps for Croatia. While he has no immediate plans to hang up his boots, he already has one eye on a post-footballing career.

“I hope that I have many good years ahead of me on the pitch, but of course once I retire, I’m convinced that I’ll have more time and more opportunities to travel and be available," he said.

“Obviously, I want to give [this ambassadorial role] my all from day one. But when that [retirement] day finally arrives, I’m sure that I’ll have more time [to take part in projects] and my excitement will only increase.

“The idea of being a part of this family already has me excited to get started, and I hope to be able to do so for many years because I can see how important it is. It’s important work that affects us all, which is to make many children happy.”

I have been extremely impressed with Ivan’s commitment and desire to help children around the world and we are looking forward to working closely with him in order to achieve these goals. The door is always open for players, both past and present, to follow Ivan’s example and join the UEFA Foundation in an ambassadorial role.

- Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president

Ivan Rakitic
Hungary v Croatia - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
Rakitic (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

UEFA Foundation for Children launches digital transformation

UEFA Foundation for Children launches digital transformation

The foundation is going digital thanks to a participatory evaluation project created in collaboration with KeeeX.

Since it was established in 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children has been supporting projects that offer practical support for vulnerable children in the fields of sport, health, education, personal development and employment. Over that time, the foundation has financed 275 projects in 109 countries across all six continents. In order to ensure that funds are used wisely, activities are organised in line with the agreed objectives and each project complies with the foundation’s code of ethics, representatives are sent to conduct the necessary checks on-site. Although this is an essential task, it is very costly in terms of both time and money, not to mention the environmental impact. The COVID-19 pandemic has made these visits even more problematic.

In January 2021, a pilot project was launched in collaboration with three NGOs based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jordan and Ukraine.

Although it is important to carry out on-site visits to some projects, this remote auditing system will significantly cut our travel costs as well as reducing our carbon footprint,” explains Urs Kluser, general secretary of the foundation. “It will make it easier for us to monitor how the funding we send to our partners is used and the savings we make will enable the foundation to support a greater number of projects."

"KeeeX is proud to be contributing to the work of NGOs and associations on the ground by supporting their outreach activities with its remote auditing solution,” says Laurent Henocque, KeeeX founder and CEO. “The UEFA Foundation for Children provides a remarkable illustration of the ethical strength of a dematerialised, transparent relationship of trust, a relationship made possible by our technology combined with the Bitcoin blockchain.”


The UEFA Foundation for Children entered the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2021 with KeeeX. These prizes recognise projects for their excellence in supporting the implementation of WSIS outcomes, in particular the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They were developed in response to requests from WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate projects and activities that leverage the power of information and communication technologies to advance sustainable development. The winners will be announced in May 2021.




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About KeeeX

Project Partner

KeeeX provides solutions that make all documents, data, processes and decision chains verifiable and traceable. Founded in 2014, this French start-up combines in its patented process the best of cryptography, digital signature and blockchains. Its products are used in audits, the industrial sector and supply chains, as well as the media, services, luxury goods, agrifood, energy, banking, insurance, legal and compliance sectors.


UEFA Foundation for Children supports Gazprom pitch donation in Serbia

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Gazprom pitch donation in Serbia

UEFA Champions League partner Gazprom has sponsored a football pitch for the benefit of 1,000 school children in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children.

Over a thousand children in Bavanište have been given a lasting footballing legacy following the donation of a pitch by UEFA Champions League partner Gazprom. The initiative is backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, while ‘Football Friends’, a local charity and partner of streetfootballworld, helped to select the location.

The ‘field in a box’ pitch was built at the Bora Radić primary school in Bavanište, a village about 40km east of Belgrade. Football Friends will be responsible for maintenance while also coordinating training sessions to ensure the local children get the best possible footballing education.

“We welcome Gazprom’s move to join the football-for-good movement and together we look forward to improving the lives of children and empowering them through football,” said the UEFA president and chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, Aleksander Čeferin. “More than ever, during this sanitarian crisis, it is important to enable school children to exercise regularly, give them hope and raise their spirits.”

As part of the handover, an exhibition match was held to inaugurate the new pitch, with mixed teams of boys and girls playing in the ‘Football Friends’ league.

“Gazprom supports youth sports and a healthy lifestyle,” said Aleksey Miller, the chairman of the Gazprom management committee. “We believe in the importance of children’s football development and hope that, through our support for the field in a box project, more youngsters will have the opportunity to join the football community.”


Launched in 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children uses football as a springboard to empower children around the world. This is achieved through sporting and educational projects that give children a safe place to learn and play, which ultimately improves their long-term prospects. So far, we supported 275 projects in 109 countries across six continents. This has benefited almost 1.2 million children, while an impressive 32 football pitches have been built throughout the world with the help of the UEFA Foundation.



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55 new children’s projects approved

55 new children’s projects approved

This Friday, the UEFA Foundation for Children celebrates World Children’s Day, using the magic of football to support the children who need it most.

On Wednesday 18 November, the foundation’s board of trustees, chaired by the UEFA president, Aleksander Čeferin, met via videoconference to discuss new projects and the institution’s future.

The foundation’s fifth anniversary, this year, is an opportunity to review its past activities and reflect on the future. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the new challenges it has brought with it, the UEFA Foundation for Children was able to rely on its partners’ commitment to help it safeguard children’s rights.

The most anticipated decision of this session was the allocation of the 2020/21 budget of €4,812,021 to new projects or an extension of existing projects, in line with its mission to protect children’s fundamental rights in health and protection, children with disabilities, education and personal development, access to sport, integration of minorities and protection for victims of conflicts.

Approximately half of the foundation’s budget is earmarked for projects in Europe while the rest supports projects in other continents. In all, 55 projects are supported along with three new pitch constructions in Europe in partnership with Lay’s.


“The Foundation views the pandemic as an opportunity to continue to use the beautiful game of football to assist so many organisations, in Europe and around the world, that focus on the needs of children and help them to keep their hopes and dreams alive. Thanks to the support we and our sponsors provide, children are helped to develop and reach their full potential, with dignity and in full protection of their rights.”

Norman Darmanin Demajo, member of the board of trustees


55 NGO projects were selected for financial support from the UEFA Foundation for Children: 24 in Europe; 16 in Africa; 8 in America, 6 in Asia; and 1 in Oceania.

Organisation Project Name in Europe
ActionAid Hellas Beyond goals 2 Greece
Ayuda en Acción Fairplay4life Spain
Barça Foundation FutbolNet Greece
Bellevue di Monaco Intercultural rooftop sports court Germany
Syndrome of Love Football for Children with Down Syndrome Russia
European Football for Development Network (EFDN) EFDN STEM & Football Education Programme Bulgaria, Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Fondation Arménienne Pour le Développement Durable Génération Sport Armenia
Football Association of Moldova Let’s play outside Moldova
Foundation Just for Smiles Smiles for Children Switzerland
Impala Performance ASBL Mbo Mpenza Challenge Belgium
Katamon Moadon Ohadim Hapoel Katamon’s Neighborhood League Israel
Kicken Ohne Grenzen Football Without Borders Austria
Liverpool School Sport Partnership (LSSP) Foundation Finding my potential United Kingdom
Młodzieżowe Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Sportowych (MSIS) Football3 empower girls Poland
Oltalom Sport Association New challenges, new opportunities Hungary
Adopt a ball 150 countries worldwide
Peres Center for Peace & Innovation Sport in the Service of Peace Israel
Rio Ferdinand Foundation Youth in Action Northern Ireland
Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI) Football versus Discrimination Republic of Ireland
Sport dans la Ville Vocational Centre France
Sportske Igre Mladih Youth Sports Games 2021 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia
Stichting het Gehandicapte Kind Bijzondere Eredivisie Netherlands
streetfootballworld GmbH Safeguarding children certification programme Europe
Ukraine Football Development Charitable Foundation Cup of Trust Ukraine


Organisation Project Name in Africa
Aliguma Foundation Sports for Resilience & Empowerment Project Uganda
Georges Malaika Foundation Future Leaders of Kalebuka Republic Democratic of Congo
Grootbos Green Futures Foundation Football Foundation: Sports for Good South Africa
iACT Refugee-led sport and early Childhood Education Programme Chad
Kick4Life Good Health & Climate Action through Football Lesotho
La balle aux prisonniers Sport for reintegration Ivory Coast
Libre Vue Solidarité Aveugle Mali
Light for the World We are the Champions South Sudan
Médecins du Monde Bophelo Ke Kgwele (The game, the Life) South Africa
Right to Play Girls on Track Tanzania
Samusocial International Promote social inclusion through sport for street children and youth in Pointe-Noire Republic of Congo
Solidarité Marathon des Sables Sport Centre in Ouarzazate Morocco
Street Child Improving the psychosocial well-being of conflict affected displaced children Mozambique
Triangle Génération Humanitaire Strengthen protection, socio-educational activities and social reintegration of vulnerable minors Central African Republic
Unis vers le Sport Les gazelles de la Teranga Senegal
Water4wildlife Maasai Mara Kick the ball, Save our wildlife Kenya


Organisation Project Name in America
Fabretto Children's Foundation Inc. Promoting sports to build resilience in rural Nicaragua Nicaragua
Fight for Peace Unity & Peace Jamaica
Fundación Empate Empate for Argentina Argentina
Global Outreach And Love of Soccer (GOALS) Team Goals Haiti
Johan Cruyff Foundation A safe space to play for children in Cabreúva, Brazil Brazil
Mama Alice Football, fun and friends camp Peru
Rêves Passion Montreal Soccer Urbain pour le rêve et l'espoir Canada
Starfinder Foundation Senior Leaders USA


Organisation Project Name in Asia
Action for Development Street children back to school Afghanistan
Asia Football Development Programme Kick for hope Jordan
Baan Dek Foundation Football4good Thailand
Cross Cultures Project Association Bringing Fun Football to Children in Syria Syria
Fundlife International Inc. Football for Peace Academy Philippines
Indochina Starfish Foundation Playing for Equality Cambodia


Organisation Project Name in Oceania
Just Play Just Play programme American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Samoa, Solomon Island, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, India





greek leandros (c)Youthorama

Orama Neon Youthorama "Adopt a ball"

Just Play action at half time. OFC U-17 Championship 2013, Fiji v Papua New Guinea, Luganville Soccer City Stadium, Vanuatu, Sunday 21st April 2013. Photo: Shane Wenzlick

Just Play "Just Play programme"

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Grootbos Green Futures Foundation " Football Foundation Sports for Good"


Copy of FabrettoAR_all-2668

Fabretto Children's Foundation "Promoting sports to build resilience in rural Nicaragua"

Children from all over Europe help design the 2020 UEFA Super Cup match ball

18 children from all over Europe help design the 2020 UEFA Super Cup match ball

18 Children's drawings from ten UEFA Foundation for Children projects will feature on a specially designed match ball for the annual meeting between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League.

When FC Bayern Munich and Sevilla FC contest the 2020 UEFA Super Cup match on 24 September at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest, they will use a football covered with 18 different childrens’ drawings.

Children from across the continent were encouraged to submit drawings showing what football meant to them in a contest organised by the UEFA Foundation for Children together with ten partner organisations. The drawings are the work of 18 children from different backgrounds from ten European organisations that work together with the UEFA Foundation for Children.

The winning drawings were selected from over 200 entries by the chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin. Children from nine European countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland) will see their drawings feature on the unique match ball.

Below are some of the winning entries.

Czech Republic

Lea and Marcus showed in their drawings that football is for everyone. They play football with Fotbal Pro Rozvoj, a football programme in the Czech Republic. Lea explains the football they play: 

“The fair play football is played in three parts. In the first part, we agree on the rules. For example, when children in a wheelchair score, it counts double.”

Football has taught them that everyone can be part of the game. Lea drew a person in a wheelchair with some other children – showing they can all play football together.

“Fair play football is for everyone, so I wanted to highlight that. And there are no limits for the people, maybe only in their heads, but if they want to play, they can play.”

Marcus likes the team spirit in football. He describes their fair play football tournaments:

“We play fair, most of the time, but sometimes there are fouls, or we have arguments. But most important is teamwork and to score great goals"


Drawings by youngsters Mika (right) and Oscar (left), who are both from s’Hertogenbosch, will appear on the ball. They were part of the Talent Group project run by the Ruud van Nistelrooy Foundation to assist children with their personal development.

Mika: ”At the foundation I had a great time and I have learned how to get better at playing football. The drawing represents a mascot who presents the trophy to the winning team. For me, football isn't always about winning but also the fun we have during the match.”

Oscar: “Football has been an important part of my life for 8 years. Together with my friends winning, and sometimes also losing - they are the the best things about football!”


Sara was a member of Brincar de Rua Ludotempo in Portugal, where children play sport in a safe environment.

“My favourite activity is playing football with my friends. For me, football is friendship and unity. I tried to show this with my drawing. It’s a football field with hearts and girls holding hands.“


Daniela, Yolanda and Patricia from Spain, who all take part in football training with Red Deporte, will see their drawings feature on the ball. The Red Deporte programme encourages young people from local marginalised groups to go to school to improve their academic performance. Daniela (below left) illustrates equality in her drawing:

“The message is this: we can all play football and enjoy the game equally across the world. If you are white, black, disabled, a boy or a girl, and without racist insults or without having to offend a girl because she has played badly. Respect.”

Patricia (middle) illustrates unity, no matter if you win or lose.

“With my drawing I want to say to all people that football unites everyone on an equal basis. We all have to team up to win or know how to lose.”

Yolanda (right) depicts the fun side of football in her drawing:

“It is friendship that is important especially helping each other to play together. It is victory and joy. Football always entertains me. I play with my friends during break times. It is a sport to be played by many and I value everyone's effort, even if some are better than others.”


Malcolm is a member of Autisme Genève and he joined the project ‘La vie en bleu’. By participating in and organising events, and disseminating information, Autisme Genève seeks to engage with the public, inviting people to discover what autism is like.

Malcolm loves football. It helps him interact with other children. When Malcolm is not outside playing football, he loves to draw.

“I combined by passions of drawing and football with this competition. If I want to be alone, I stay at home and draw, but if I want to spend time with my friends, I go outside to play football. On the football pitch I spend the best time. Together with my friends we run, play and have fun."

Other winners from Switzerland include Mia and Fabio, who are members of PluSport, which offers sports activities for children with disabilities. Mia and Fabio play football in one of PluSport’s football teams.

In their winning drawings, they show that everyone can play football, no matter who you are.


To view stories from other winning entries, visit the UEFA foundation website to see drawings from Germany, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia.


The UEFA president and foundation chairman, Aleksander Čeferin, is delighted with the initiative:

I’m sure the children will be thrilled to see their drawings on the Super Cup match ball and to know that stars of our game will be scoring goals with it. It was inspiring to see all the excellent drawings and hear the stories of the children. I hope that the joy they feel by seeing their artwork on the ball for such an important match will motivate them not only to play football, but also to follow their dreams.

- Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 20:  Malcom poses for a photo during a UEFA Foundation for children drawing contest for SCUP 2020 photoshoot on September 20, 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

I combined by passions of drawing and football with this competition. If I want to be alone, I stay at home and draw, but if I want to spend time with my friends, I go outside to play football. On the football pitch I spend the best time. Together with my friends we run, play and have fun.

- Malcolm is a member of Autisme Genève

Sara - USC 2020 ball design2019101206

My favourite activity is playing football with my friends. For me, football is friendship and unity. I tried to show this with my drawing. It’s a football field with hearts and girls holding hands.“

- Sara, member of Brincar de Rua Ludotempo in Portugal

2020 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards

2020 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards

The €1 million support for 20 European Children's charities

The spring UEFA Foundation for Children board of trustees meeting was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, our work has continued even during this challenging period and our chairman, Aleksander Čeferin, decided to nominate the 2020 UEFA Foundation for Children awards as planned and additionally grant financial support to the Youth Sports Games, the biggest amateur sports event for children and youth in Europe.

In accordance with the foundation’s status and regulations, the decisions were taken in a written procedure.

2020 UEFA Foundation for Children awards

The foundation has asked the 55 UEFA member associations to nominate charities in their countries according to the following criteria:

  • All award recipients must be based in the country of a UEFA member association.
  • Potential recipients must accept and comply with the foundation charter and ethics code.
  • Potential recipients must have been registered with the relevant national authorities for at least three years and comply with national legal obligations.
  • The activities carried out by recipients must be aimed at helping vulnerable, deprived or socially excluded children, and must never involve the promotion of talented young footballers.

The Board of Trustees has decided to divide the total funding – €1m – equally between 20 nominees, with the 20 organisations below each receiving a €50,000 grant:

CIO Associations NGOs
AUT Austrian Football Association SOS-Kinderdorf
BEL Royal Belgian Football Association Koninklijke Sporting Club City Pirates
BLR Belarus Football Association SOS-Сhildren’s Village Marjina Gorka
CRO Croatian Football Association The Croatian Down Syndrome Association
CZE Football Association of the Czech Republic Real Top Praha
DEN Danish Football Association The danish christmas seal foundation
ENG English Football Association Coaches Across Continents Ltd
EST Estonian Football Association SOS Children's Village Association of Estonia
GER German Football Association In safe hands e.V.
GIB Gibraltar Football Association Help Me Learn Africa
ITA Italian Football Association Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù
LTU Lithuanian Football Association Nemuno krašto vaikai
NIR Irish Football Association Irish FA Foundation
POL Polish Football Association Hope for Mundial Association
POR Portuguese Football Federation Ludotempo – Associação da Promoção do Brincar
RUS Football Union of Russia Under the flag of kindness
SCO Scottish Football Association Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation
SVN Football Association of Slovenia Youth Health and Summer Resort Debeli Rtič
SWE Swedish football Association KIF Örebro DFF
UKR Ukrainian Association of Football Football Development in Ukraine


Youth Sports Games

The board has decided to allocate €50,000 to this year’s festival, which will be organised as soon as the situation eases up. This event will have a special signification after the Covid-19 pandemic, and we hope it will inspire children and help bring a positive spirit back to the region. The games are held in three countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. In 2019, as many as 202,000 youngsters competed.


Call for projects 2020

The UEFA Foundation for Children will launch a new call for projects from 1 July to 15 August 2020. Applicants from all over the world can submit their projects on our official website, where they can find all the necessary information and the selection criteria in due time. The board of trustees will select projects and announce its decisions at the next meeting in November.


The current health crisis is challenging the world and having devastating effects on the most vulnerable communities. Our partners need our support more than ever in this uncertain period to enable football and education programmes in underserved communities to carry on once the pandemic is over.

- Urs Kluser, general secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children

Award 20 Mädchenfussball
Ludotempo DSC_5389
Award 20
Award DSC_5357

The foundation celebrates its fifth anniversary

The foundation celebrates its fifth anniversary

Five years have passed since the UEFA Foundation for Children was established to help european football fulfil its social responsability to support and defend the rights of children all over the world

Football is more than just a game; it is a vehicle for change and a source of hope and possibilities for all children. It can be used to develop important life skills such as communication, teamwork and respect, and provides opportunities to lead, excel and gain confidence.

The projects supported by the foundation use sport, and football in particular, to help support children in precarious situations and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Activities focus on the areas of health, education, access to sport, integration of minorities, personal development and youth employment.

Almost 250 projects reaching a million children

Some one million children have benefitted from the broad range of activities organised or funded by the foundation since it was created in April 2015. Through calls for project and awards, the foundation has provided grants to a total of 245 projects. Half of all funding has been dedicated to projects within Europe.

Helping more children play the beautiful game

A common need identified by the foundation is for safe infrastructure and equipment. The foundation has therefore supported the construction of many football pitches and distributed over 35,000 balls and football kits to schools, children’s institutions and associations. Over 34 tonnes of material from UEFA competitions have been donated to children’s programmes.

Promoting diversity and multiculturalism

The foundation has been able to support projects in 100 countries. Of the one million children who have already benefitted, at least 35% are girls, and the foundation is working to increase this proportion. Football is a powerful means of promoting gender equality and inclusion more broadly, by increasing the participation of minorities in programmes and in society, thereby helping more people to become active citizens.

Making dreams come true

National associations and clubs have helped the foundation bring hope to children and give them reasons to dream. Almost 24,000 children who would otherwise never have had the chance to attend an international football match have been invited to a UEFA competition.

The UEFA Super Cup has been as great stage on which to create awareness of the positive impact football can have. With the help of the participating clubs and their elite players, the foundation has used this stage to demonstrate, once again, that football can play an important role in children’s lives and can change the opportunities of even the most vulnerable.

New challenges

As the world grapples with COVID-19, the resultant health crisis and its social and economic consequences, the foundation continues to do what it can to help the most vulnerable communities and organise responses that are adapted to the needs of each situation. The foundation was the first institutional supporter of the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund, set up to support community organisations in their immediate emergency response and longer-term recovery work.

Grateful thanks

The milestone of our fifth birthday is an opportunity for the foundation to thank to the entire football community for the trust that has been shown in us and our work . Special thanks also to our partner NGOs and community organisations for their hard work, day in, day out, implementing our activities and their dedication to protecting children and their universal rights, which is, after all, the purpose of the UEFA foundation.

- Urs Kluser, General Secretary of the UEFA Foundation for children

infographie_EN_dec19 for Social Media

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund

Time for global action, solidarity and collaboration

Less than 24 hours after the creation of the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund, the UEFA Foundation for Children decided to support the initiative, making it the fund’s first institutional supporter. It is hoped this investment will send out a clear message of solidarity within the global football community and help Common Goal make a positive impact through its existing network of football charities working with young people in over 100 communities severely affected by the new coronavirus.

The UEFA Foundation for Children provides financial support and services to organisations worldwide that place children rights at the heart of their projects. By supporting the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund, the aim is to help to tackle the immediate effects of the pandemic on children and young people and ensure that support continues beyond the initial emergency response, with a focus on deprived communities and conflict settings.

In addition to its COVID-19 Response Fund, Common Goal has also announced the Live Match platform, in which players commit the 90 minutes they are no longer spending on the pitch to create positive outcomes at this challenging time. Manchester United player Juan Mata, the first player to join Common Goal back in 2017, will kick off the first Live Match this evening, Thursday 9 April, at 19:00 CET.

Mata will use his Instagram platform to connect with fans. The Bayern Munich and German international player Serge Gnabry, as well as a football-based community organisation that he is supporting through Common Goal will join. This is a really positive step for the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund.

“Welcome to the team, UEFA Foundation for Children,” Mata said. “To overcome the coronavirus, and the other challenges facing humanity, we need to coordinate individual efforts and work together as a team. I'm urging not only my Common Goal team-mates, but all other players and football leaders around the world to unite and help tackle this crisis, and at the same time use this as a catalyst to play a key role in tackling the other challenges humanity faces. Together we can beat this.”

Common Goal CEO Jurgen Griesbeck said: “In the midst of this crisis, football has the chance to realise its full potential in playing a leading role in shaping the world. Together, with everyone who loves football in support, the sport has a real opportunity to have a positive impact. We are delighted to have the trust and support of the UEFA Foundation for Children.”


How to support the Common Goal COVID-19 Response Fund

Donations can be made here.

Players who want to join the Common Goal team and pledge to support Common Goal at this critical time can do so at here.

In addition to making donations and joining the Common Goal team, individuals and organisations from the world of football and beyond are encouraged to follow the Common Goal Live Matches, starting with Juan Mata tonight.


In these difficult times, which affect many countries and the most fragile populations especially, it is important to coordinate and organise responses that are adapted to the needs of each situation. It is for this reason that the foundation board decided to join this initiative and allow football to play a role of social responsibility.

- Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president and chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees

About Common Goal

Logo - Common goal

Common Goal currently has almost 150 members who pledge a minimum of 1% of their earnings from football to a global network of high-impact charities that empower disadvantaged young people, primarily through football. Members include players such as Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Morgan, Kasper Schmeichel, Eniola Aluko, Shinji Kagawa, Mats Hummels and Megan Rapinoe, managers such as Jürgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann, and football industry leaders such as the UEFA President, Aleksander Čeferin. The movement supports the streetfootballworld network of 135 football-based community organisations uniquely positioned to deliver essential support and services in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic in more than 200 communities across 90 countries, benefitting over 2 million young people.

The UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour 2020 driven by Kia to Zaatari refugee camp

The Europa League Trophy Tour 2020 driven by Kia to Zaatari refugee camp

Kia Motors and UEFA Foundation for Children renew their support for refugee children in the Zaatari camp for the second season

The UEFA Europa League trophy tour, driven by Kia, is taking one of UEFA’s most prestigious trophies on the road again, visiting local schools, grassroots clubs and pop-up locations in city centres in six new European countries from February to May. Fans will have the opportunity to see the iconic UEFA Europa League trophy up close and meet with footballing legends. For the duration of the tour, fans of all ages will also be encouraged to donate unwanted football boots, which will be taken to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, the final stop on the tour.

The boots will be distributed to children and youngsters participating in the football programmes set up in the camp, to inspire them and enable them to play in better conditions. Furthermore, having the opportunity to see the legendary trophy coveted by the biggest teams in Europe will be an unforgettable experience for many of the camp’s residents.

“My football boots were my gateway to freedom. These opportunities and freedoms, which I often had to fight hard for yet were possible in our society, are what I want to pass on to girls,” said Tugba Tekkal, a young refugee who grew up in Germany.

The UEFA Europa League trophy tour stops in six new European cities, giving fans the opportunity to get close to the trophy and ambassadors:

7/8 February      Frankfurt, Germany

21 February        Barcelona, Spain

13/14 March       Rome, Italy

27/28 March      Amsterdam, Netherlands

1/2 May               Manchester, UK

15/16 May           Warsaw, Poland

25/26 July          Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan


A stellar list of former players has signed up to take part: Michael Owen will be the global ambassador of the campaign, and each stop welcomes a local ambassador on board, such as Thomas Berthold in Frankfurt, Eric Abidal in Barcelona and Jerzy Dudek in Warsaw. Other legends will be announced nearer the time.

“UEFA is delighted to have Kia renew its support of the Europa League trophy tour for a second season,” said UEFA’s director of marketing, Guy-Laurent Epstein. “Both organisations have a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility, and we are extremely proud of this partnership that will bring the tour, trophy and ambassadors to seven countries. Our hope is that the UEFA Europa League trophy tour, driven by Kia will inspire a new generation to lift the iconic trophy, and that the football boots donated during the tour provide refugee children in Zaatari camp with the resources they need to enjoy playing the game and develop their love of football.”

"We are extremely excited to bring back the UEFA Europa League trophy tour, driven by Kia for a second year,” said Artur Martins, Vice President Global Brand & Marketing at Kia Motors Corporation.

“This news is testament to the huge success and popularity of the first year of the campaign. Last year, the tour gave football fans of all ages the chance to see the trophy up close and to donate their football boots to a very deserving cause – which proved to be an overwhelming success. This year, we hope to receive even more donations and continue to support the young refugees in playing a sport that they love.”

Boot donations

Boot donations can be made at each stop of the tour, as well as at selected Kia dealerships in certain markets.

  • Last season, Kia collected an incredible 1,052 pairs of boots. However, there are still around 2,000 children without football boots at Zaatari refugee camp
  • This year, Kia aims to double the number of boots donated to Zaatari refugee camp to meet this demand
  • Every fan who donates a pair of boots will be in with a chance of winning an all-expenses-paid trip to the UEFA Europa League final, including flights, accommodation and organised activities.

My football boots were my gateway to freedom. These opportunities and freedoms, which I often had to fight hard for yet were possible in our society, are what I want to pass on to girls.

- Tugba Tekkal, a young refugee who grew up in Germany

Kia TT 2019
Kia TT 2019
Kia TT 2019


Refugees eSports Cup: the first eSports tournament in refugee camps

From 26 January to 1 February, Libraries Without Borders and the UEFA Foundation for Children will hold the first eSport tournament in the Syrian refugee camp of Zaatari in Jordan. This action is supported by Facebook, PlayStation and ArmaTeam.

A refugee spends on average 18 years of her or his life in a camp. Eighteen years without being able to catch up on the news, read or learn well. For that reason, Libraries Without Borders and the UEFA Foundation for Children are working tirelessly so that the women, men and children from the camp of Zaatari can connect with the world again, overcome boredom, find the assets to foster their resilience and think about their future. By promoting access to sport, education, information and culture, we are committed to giving everyone the capacity to be autonomous, free and to achieve fulfilment.

The camp is located east of Mafraq and has today 60 000 Syrians who fled from the civil war. Libraries Without Borders set up an Ideas Box there three years ago - a mobile media library, in kit form, designed by Philippe Starck. The UEFA Foundation for Children, meanwhile, has been offering for the past five years various sport activities through its house of sport, football pitches and coach education.

For the first time, Libraries Without Borders and the UEFA Foundation for Children will organize the “Refugees eSports Cup” tournament with the support of Facebook, PlayStation and ArmaTeam in the camp of Zaatari. From 26 January to 1 February, this event will gather 200 teenagers from 10 to 18 - including people with disabilities - who have been training since December ; the final will be held on 31 January and February 1. At the core of this project : social cohesion and entertainment.

In libraries and museums, video games have also their place. Way ahead of literature, movie and music industry, video games are nowadays the most consumed cultural good in the world.

Provide access to video games in refugee camps, why?
Libraries Without Borders and the UEFA Foundation for Children wish to make a positive use of this cultural good for all. To this end, it was meaningful to us to hold this very first eSport tournament in Jordan : video games are a cultural product that refugees should have access to, just like any other. For the time of a match, they will then be able to escape from their daily lives and their hard living conditions.

Video games are first and foremost human. Whether they challenge each other, regardless their stories, the players create a social link, exchange and share with respect. Interactive and inclusive, it brings them entertainment and allows them to escape, tell and create stories. Imagination and creativity are boosted. The player is able to dive into other universes - as a novel or a comic can do - by making her or him the main character of  her or his own story. It is a chance to meet each other, to learn the different issues and rules of living together. Finally, with the video games, failure - in all its forms - does not exist: it even constitutes the core of learning. And defeat encourages them to carry on and move forward.

About Librairies Without Borders


Since 2007, Libraries Without Borders has been working tirelessly to bring knowledge to those who are deprived of it - from refugee camps in Bangladesh to rural areas in France - and to make the right to culture a fundamental human right. In thirteen years, the association has reached more than six million people in fifty countries.

Project Partners

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