Aleksander Čeferin becomes chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children

Today, the UEFA president, Aleksander Čeferin, was elected as the new chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children at the board of trustees’ meeting held at the UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work even closer with our foundation, which plays an instrumental role in aiding children living in challenging and difficult conditions around the world,” the UEFA president said.

Aleksander Čeferin takes over from former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso, who chaired the foundation since its creation in 2015.

“I was honoured to be invited by UEFA to be the first chairman of the foundation,” Mr Barroso said. “My wish is for the UEFA Foundation for Children to continue and, if possible, increase the support that is so important for so many underprivileged children around the world.”

Aleksander Čeferin was one of three new members to join the board of trustees, the other two being Kairat Boranbayev, president of the Kazakhstan Premier League and of the National Paralympic Committee of Kazakhstan, and Kevin Lamour, director of UEFA’s president’s and executive office.

“It is a great honour for me, but also a big responsibility,” Kairat Boranbayev said. “Children are the most important thing we have in life. I am very pleased that the main objectives of the foundation are integration and aiding the younger generation in different areas. And they are fulfilled using the most understandable language in the world – the language of football.”

The meeting took the opportunity to thank José Manuel Barroso for all his great work during the past two and a half years as well as Sándor Csányi, president of the Hungarian Football Federation and a member of the UEFA Executive Committee, who was stepping down as a member of the foundation’s board of trustees.


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UEFA President Čeferin inaugurates pitch at Jordanian refugee camp

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has helped to officially open a new football pitch at the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, which will give thousands of children the opportunity to play the game they love, with the best facilities possible.

Over 200 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 13 took part in the opening ceremony, and were joined by Mr. Čeferin for a football match on the new playing surface.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to see how something as simple as a football pitch can bring so much joy and happiness. Football has the ability to inspire, unite and also teach children important life skills and values, such as teamwork and respect,” the UEFA president said.

The building of the full-sized artificial pitch was backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), the Jordanian Football Association, the Norwegian Football Federation and Lay’s, who are also a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League.

Two containers filled with artificial turf, construction materials, maintenance support equipment (including a tractor), and pitch equipment such as goals and corner flags were sent from the Netherlands. The construction of the pitch took two months and was completed in late May.

During his visit to Za’atari, which houses just over 80,000 refugees, Mr. Čeferin visited the ‘House of Sport,’ which was opened in September 2016 by the UEFA Foundation for Children and the AFDP.

“It is genuinely a humbling experience to be able to interact with children from this camp. Despite the situations they find themselves in, they are able still to smile and enjoy life as much as possible,” said Mr. Čeferin. “I am glad that the work carried out by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the Asian Football Development Project, the Norwegian Football Federation and Lays is giving these children opportunities that they otherwise would not have had.”

The centre has become the hub of sporting life in the camp and allows children to play in a safe environment as well as giving them the chance to engage in sport and football in particular with others.

This is the latest in a long line of projects that the UEFA Foundation for Children has undertaken at the Za’atari Refugee Camp, which is located in the north of Jordan, not far from the southern Syrian border.

Since its creation in April 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children, alongside the AFDP and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has been looking to help refugees who were displaced by the conflict in Syria and especially children and youngsters who were living in the camp.

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, who is the President of the Jordanian Football Association, mentioned, “powerful mediums such as sport and education have the ability to plant seeds of hope and potentiality even under the most difficult circumstances.”

“Thanks to my friend Aleksander Čeferin, my colleagues at the UEFA Foundation for Children and Lay’s for supporting the Asian Football Development Project’s projects at the camp and for providing the refugee boys and girls with a healthy, quality space that they can use not only to train, but also to build friendships and learn skills that are beneficial on and off the pitch,” Prince Ali added.

A total of 4,480 children and youngsters, including 3,185 boys and 1,295 girls aged between 8 and 20, regularly take part in weekly sports activities, which are supervised by qualified male and female coaches.

In order to organise sports activities and football tournaments, it is essential to have local teachers who can keep the project going. This is why the UEFA Foundation for Children has embarked on a training programme to give coaches the necessary skills to supervise and lead football activities. Since July 2017, 250 adult refugees, including 163 men and 87 women, have benefited from the coaching education that has been available.

In order to give the young inhabitants as much stimulation as possible, monthly football tournaments are organized in the camp. In total, 30 girls’ teams (U13, U15 and U20) and 60 boys’ teams (U13, U15 and U24) have been created, with an average of 20 players per team.

The UEFA Foundation for Children and the AFDP have tried to offer as much expertise as possible and have run workshops on refereeing and how to recover from injury. These sessions have proved to be a success, with 54 referees qualifying to officiate in matches, 21 of whom are women.

Furthermore, experts have been enlisted to touch on social fields, such as how sport can be used as a tool for social cohesion, while advice has also been given on early marriages and conflict resolution. Almost 60 percent of the camp’s inhabitants are under the age of 24, while a fifth are under five.


Photographs, a video and an infographic can be downloaded from the following links:

Video –

Photos –

Infograpic – Za’atari infographic


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UEFA foundation welcomes continued collaboration with FedEx in support of ‘football for good’ movement

UEFA ambassador Jerzy Dudek to celebrate the inauguration of a second community pitch in Mragowo, Poland

Following the huge success of the first Field in a Box delivered by the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx to the community of Cañada Real in Madrid in May 2016 and its visible impact on the positive development of young people, FedEx, main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, decided to continue its work with the UEFA foundation to provide similar fields to other communities in need. The global not-for-profit network streetfootballworld helped to identify the location for a second pitch, deciding on the town of Mragowo in northeast Poland on the basis of the potential for positive impact. Local charity Mazurskie Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Sportowych (MSIS), a partner of streetfootballworld in Mragowo, will be responsible for maintaining the pitch and ensuring its sustainable use through the employment of an activities coordinator.

The inauguration ceremony took place 31 August followed by a football3 training session with the presence of UEFA ambassador and retired Polish football player Jerzy Dudek, also members of the local community.

“The decision to build this football field in Mrągowo has already elevated the aspirations of people here. The pitch will be greatly beneficial in terms of community development, helping to integrate the people of Mrągowo with their neighbours and the municipality, and encouraging independence. Our aim for this pitch – to become a football3 training facility—means the pitch will not just benefit young people who use it, but also allow the teaching of football3 to spread beyond Mrągowo and have a broader impact in Poland,” said Arkadiusz Kamil Mierkowski, MSIS.

“We are delighted that FedEx approach to social responsibility aligns with the football for good movement. As a global logistics business that is committed to giving back on a local level, FedEx is naturally positioned to expand the ‘Field in a Box™’ program on to other continents. Together we look forward to improving the lives of young people through football, not just in Europe, but in underserved communities globally,” said Pascal Torres, general secretary, UEFA Foundation for Children.

“As Main Sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, FedEx aims to use its involvement in professional football to connect with people on a personal level. In Cañada Real, we saw the positive impact putting a playing field in a community can have. It’s rewarding for FedEx to open a second pitch here in Mrągowo, and feel the same optimism surrounding a project we know can open up new possibilities for people who live here,” said David Binks, president of FedEx Express in Europe and CEO of TNT.

“Football has a proven ability to bring people together and change lives. We’re grateful that organisations like FedEx, who are affiliated with football at a professional level, extend their support to the football for good movement and recognise, not just the need, but the potential for projects like ‘Field in a Box™’ and football3 teaching methodologies to impact young people in communities like Mrągowo,” said streetfootballworld director Vladimir Borkovic.

Football in support of diversity at 2017 UEFA Super Cup

Hearing-impaired children from Skopje to perform a song using sign language

For the third year, the UEFA Foundation for Children will play an active role in the UEFA Super Cup opening ceremony, raising awareness and sending messages of tolerance, solidarity and social inclusion towards our most vulnerable children.

This year’s UEFA Super Cup will be contested by UEFA Champions League titleholders Real Madrid CF and UEFA Europa League champions Manchester United FC in Skopje, FYR Macedonia, on 8 August. Before kick-off, a group of 19 hearing-impaired youngsters from the local state school for education and rehabilitation, DUCOR Partenija Zografski, will perform Coldplay’s A Sky full of Stars in sign language, alongside Falsetto children’s choir. In doing so they will send a powerful message to the world about the importance of integrating children with disabilities in society. European football and the clubs are supporting the cause by sharing this unique stage, thereby promoting diversity and respect.

The youngsters will also have the opportunity to meet players from both teams and share their mutual love of football ahead of the match.

“Participating in an event such as the opening ceremony of the UEFA Super Cup would be a dream come true for any number of children and teenagers, but for these deaf teenagers it is even more than that,” says Viktorija Volak, a teacher at DUCOR Partenija Zografski. “It is an honour. It’s exciting but they also want to perform to the best of their abilities, to thank the UEFA Foundation for Children for giving them this opportunity and to send, in their natural way, a message of equality despite the differences between us all.”

Pascal Torres, general secretary of UEFA Foundation for Children, adds: “Football is a universal language and an inspiring force for integration and positivity. By inviting these hard-of-hearing young people to perform in front of an audience of millions, we’re sending the message that, whoever you are, wherever you come from and whatever problems you face, you have a part to play in the world of football.”


The UEFA Foundation for Children is preparing to launch a new call for projects in mid-August. Applicants will have one month to submit details of their projects. All the necessary information and the selection criteria will be published on The board of trustees will make and announce its decisions in the final quarter of 2017.

Established in 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children is a charitable organisation governed by Swiss law. It defends the rights of underprivileged children by using the power of football to improve their lives and to help them develop their potential and find their place in the community. The foundation currently invests in more than 60 projects in 50 countries worldwide. More than 500,000 children have already benefited from the foundation’s work since its creation.

UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx return to Cañada Real

It has been a year since the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx, the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, built the first ‘Field in a Box’ in the Cañada Real district of Madrid, one of Spain’s most economically disadvantaged areas. To celebrate the resounding success of this community football pitch, which was donated to Red Deporte y Cooperación, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation, we recently met up with FedEx near the Spanish capital.

The ‘Field in a Box’, is an enclosed, artificial football pitch with metal railings and high-sided goals that was shipped by FedEx in two containers and inaugurated in May 2016. It sits in an area of self-constructed housing, home to immigrants from both Morocco and the Roma community.

Local charity Red Deporte y Cooperación maintains the pitch and ensures its sustainable and coordinated use by employing a youth coach from the local community. Red Deporte’s sports programme in Cañada Real is supported by streetfootballworld and the UEFA Foundation for Children, with the overall aim of using football to drive social change and cohesion within the local communities.

Today, 400 children and young adults are involved in the project. 90% are boys and 10% girls aged 5 to 30 have benefitted directly from the pitch, and nearly 500 football matches have been organised there since the project began.

“The success of the pitch in Cañada Real is an excellent example of the impact football can have on a local community, and shows just how important it is to develop sustainable projects that continue to have an impact after their completion,” said Cyril Pellevat, head of administration at the UEFA Foundation for Children. “Together with FedEx, we have already begun work on a second pitch in Mragowo – a segregated community in north-east Poland – and we look forward to making a real difference there this summer.”

For Carlos de Carcer, responsible at Red Deporte the football field has transformed the landscape of Cañada and created a space of reference where kids can play, have fun, get a better education and meet their friends daily in a safe place. “Before, there was only a piece of bumpy land where kids just played randomly one-two hours per week. Now with regular activities organised by Red Deporte and this new infrastructure, the pitch as awaken a sense about the importance and potential of football at Cañada, creating a sense of community around football, aspiring to better perspective in Cañada.”


Winners of 2017 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards announced

Awards go to 20 organisations recommended by UEFA member associations supporting deprived children

On 24 May, the Board of Trustees of the UEFA Foundation for Children met at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm under the stewardship of its chairman, José Manuel Durão Barroso.

The agenda for that meeting included a number of important items of business, such as the approval of new members of the Board of Trustees and the 2017 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards.


New members of the Board of Trustees:

The Board of Trustees is composed of between 5 and 15 natural persons or representatives of legal entities. They are elected by existing members of the Board of Trustees and serve renewable four-year terms of office. At the meeting in Stockholm, four new members were elected by the necessary two-thirds majority of the members of the Board of Trustees, as required by the Organisational Regulations of the UEFA Foundation for Children, joining the five existing members.


The four new members are:

  • Ms Fiona May, former long jumper and a member of the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee;
  • Ms Esther Gascón Carbajosa, the new general secretary of the Royal Spanish Football Federation;
  • Ms Nathalie Iannetta, UEFA’s chief adviser on governmental and social matters;
  • Mr Elkhan Mammadov, the general secretary of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan and a member of the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee.


2017 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards:

For the 2017 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards, a decision was taken to place Europe’s national associations at the heart of the decision-making process. The associations were asked to nominate projects, which had to satisfy the following eligibility criteria: recipients had to be based in the country of a UEFA member association; they had to respect and comply with the Ethics Code of the UEFA Foundation for Children; they had to be registered with the relevant national authorities; and they had to fulfil all necessary legal and financial obligations.

This initiative was a resounding success, with a total of 23 member associations nominating eligible projects. With three of those associations having already received financial support from the foundation in the past, the Board of Trustees decided to share the €1m prize money equally (€50,000) between the organisations nominated by the 20 remaining associations, which are listed in the table below:


Nominating association Recipient organisation
German Football Association Integration durch Sport und Bildung e.V.
Danish Football Association The Mary Foundation
Football Association of Moldova Concordia
Football Association of the Czech Republic Sportovní
Football Association of Slovenia Youth health and summer resort Debeli Rtic
Scottish Football Association The Scottish Football Partnership Trust
Estonian Football Association SPIN
Football Association of Finland Icehearts of Finland
Irish Football Association Cancer Fund for Children
Swiss Football Association Just for Smiles
Cyprus Football Association Monadika Xamogela (Unique Smile)
Croatian Football Federation World Roma Organization
Football Federation of Armenia Grant Life
Hellenic Football Federation Mazi gia to Paidi
Hungarian Football Federation Janos Farkas Foundation
Italian Football Federation Crazy For Football
Portuguese Football Federation CAIS – Associação de Solidariedade Social
Romanian Football Federation Policy Center for Roma and Minorities
Russian Football Union Football for Kids
Royal Belgian Football Association Plan Belgique


2017 call for projects:

This year, applicants will be able to submit details of their projects between mid-August and mid‑September 2017, once the selection criteria have been determined.


The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will take place on 2 October 2017 in Nyon.

A Family celebration in Cardiff

Fun for the whole family at the UEFA Women’s Champions League final

Thursday 1 June is not only the day of the UEFA Women’s Champions League final – it is also the UN Global Day of Parents. To mark this double celebration, the UEFA Foundation for Children will make it an extra special day for youngsters and their families watching the final between Olympique Lyonnais and Paris Saint-Germain at the Cardiff City Stadium.

A number of activities involving children and their parents have been planned for this prestigious event. The initiative will be clear for all to see at the opening ceremony, when 15 girls and their parents raise a giant centre circle. The girls will also have the opportunity to meet the players on the eve of the final.

The foundation has also arranged match tickets for over 800 children and parents connected to charitable organisations in Cardiff that form part of the streetfootballworld network. The children will be given a Together #WePlayStrong tifo banner to hold, as well as inflatable bam-bam sticks.

“On the occasion of UEFA’s flagship women’s club competition final, the foundation would like to pay tribute to every child’s most important supporters: their families” said Pascal Torres, general secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children. “Mothers and fathers have an essential role to play in getting their children, and their daughters in particular, to participate in this beautiful game.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children was established in April 2015 to help preserve the magic of football and give hope to those children who need it most.


UEFA Europa League dream for local children

UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx ready to offer an unforgettable experience to disadvantaged children in Stockholm

The UEFA Foundation for Children is delighted to once again team up with FedEx to offer children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act as player escorts at the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday 24 May at Friends Arena in Stockholm.

FedEx, the UEFA Europa League’s main partner, has donated its entire allocation of player escort places to disadvantaged children, giving them the chance to walk onto the pitch with their heroes from Manchester United FC and AFC Ajax. In addition, FedEx is donating 100 match tickets to other children through local charities.

The UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx selected the lucky children with the help of streetfootballworld, a global non-profit organisation that uses football to drive social change, a Stockholm-based organisation Djurgarden Fotboll and three local charity organisations: Barn till Ensamma Mammor, Trygga Barnen and Kista Sports Club.

“We’re delighted to offer this opportunity to kids, and to deliver other community football projects with FedEx, who, as the main partner of the UEFA Europa League, shares our belief in football as a powerful tool for social change. In donating its player escort opportunities for the second year in a row, FedEx is once again providing children who face difficult challenges in their daily lives with an experience that’s really out of the ordinary,” said Pascal Torres, general secretary of UEFA Foundation for Children. “We hope the incredible atmosphere at the UEFA Europa League final and the pride of being chosen to escort these professional players onto the pitch will excite and inspire the children to follow their dreams.”

“As main sponsor of the UEFA Europe League, it’s important to us at FedEx that we make best use of our involvement in football to create positive opportunities in the communities we operate in at a local level,” said Patrick Stienlet, vice-president of ground operations for FedEx in the Nordic region. “While sport can’t offer a solution to all of the difficult challenges these children face in their daily lives, we know being part of an event as spectacular as this provides an exciting and inspiring breakaway from the norm.”

“Thanks to organisations like FedEx and their support of the ‘football for good’ movement, we’re able to connect two worlds: the world of professional football, where the glamour of a tournament unfolds on a global stage, and football on a local level, where the beautiful game plays its part in delivering social change,” streetfootballworld’s Vladimir Borkovic said.

Recognising that football has a unique power to transform lives, FedEx and the UEFA Foundation for Children worked together last year to set up an artificial pitch in an underserved community near Madrid, and they will build a second pitch in Poland this summer. Donated pitches are maintained by local charities through the streetfootballworld network, providing a safe environment for young people to play and develop important life skills, such as respect and dialogue.

The UEFA Foundation for Children supports the Swiss disability sport association

Every child has the right to play football

The Goal Plus project of the Swiss disability association, PluSport, was one of those selected for support by the UEFA Foundation for Children following its call for projects in summer 2016. Goal Plus uses football and the passion it creates to give disabled children the opportunity to get active, have fun and develop team spirit – all of which helps their integration. The Goal Plus project consists of two subprojects: Play Football and From Football to Rafroball – one for youngsters who can walk and the other for those who use wheelchairs.

With the support of the UEFA Foundation for Children, more children and groups can take part in the project, more teams can be set up, weekly training sessions and regular tournaments can be organised, rafroball can be developed for children who cannot play conventional football and rafroball camps organised, coaches can be trained and specialised support staff rewarded for the part they play.

Pascal Torres, secretary general of the UEFA Foundation for Children, says: “The foundation is proud to support the development of all forms of football, including rafroball and blind football, through which football can fulfil its role as a game that all children can enjoy, regardless of their differences and abilities, giving them an opportunity to interact and play with other children and facilitating their integration.”

Note to editors:

PluSport is the umbrella organisation of all disability sport in Switzerland. For more than 50 years, PluSport has been using football to promote disability sport among its 12,000 amateur members through 90 regional clubs, offering a variety of sporting disciplines and organising about 100 camps. PluSport is the co-founder of Swiss Paralympic and also promotes elite sport.

UEFA Foundation for Children backs 12 new projects

The foundation’s board of trustees promotes sport as a vehicle to support vulnerable children.

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s board of trustees, chaired by the former European Commission president, José Manuel Durão Barroso, met in October at the House of European Football in Nyon.

The main items on the meeting agenda included a review of all current activities and campaigns, and the inaugural 2016 UEFA Foundation for Children awards ceremony took place, highlighting the work of the five charitable bodies chosen to receive the awards for their campaigns seeking to promote peace, integration, greater social harmony, respect for differences and non-discrimination: streetfootballworld, Colombianitos, Just Play, Right to Play and Magic Bus.

The board also approved new projects, following on from a call for projects for 2016/17. The board carefully studied the numerous initiatives submitted, which had to meet the following criteria: conformity with the UEFA Foundation for Children’s statutes; credibility of the bodies in question; presentation of a viable budget, including the participation of local partners; and the sustainability value of the projects.

The UEFA Foundation for Children has earmarked €1 million in financial support for 12 new projects, involving programmes designed to help vulnerable, disadvantaged or disabled children across the world.

The following projects will be added to the UEFA foundation’s portfolio:

  • An educational project based on team sports, in particular handball, volleyball, football and basketball, run in partnership with a French non-governmental organisation, CIELO (Coopération internationale pour les équilibres locaux), which is active in Benin, Cameroun and Togo;
  • An initiative aimed at promoting education and life skills in Congo, proposed by Promo Jeune Basket, who have been working with young people in the country for more than ten years. More than 1,000 youngsters have derived benefit from the project;
  • The “Solidarité aveugle” (“Blind solidarity”) project, run by Libre Vue, destined for 150 young blind girls and boys in Mali, and designed to enable them to play football in an appropriate environment – thereby combatting social exclusion and promoting football for all;
  • “Goal Plus”, a project supported by PluSport, an organisation which uses football and other ball games to integrate disabled people in Switzerland;
  • “The Game, The Life”, established by the Swiss NGO IMBEWU, and aimed at supporting disadvantaged children and young people in townships in South Africa in their education and on their life paths, in order to bring about greater equality, tolerance and social cohesion;
  • A project by the Brincar de Rua organisation, which is based and active in the Leiria region of Portugal. The project offers street-playing experiences in urban areas for children aged between 5 and 12. The children are integrated within groups in their neighbourhood, and take part in sporting activities which are beneficial to their health, development and well-being;
  • An educational, health and social inclusion programme for children in disadvantaged communities in Israel and Palestine, to be implemented in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Deir Istiya by Inter Campus, an organisation working with numerous local partners;
  • A programme of education through sport which keeps children occupied and active from when they leave school during the day until the evening – normally a period in the day when they are generally left to their own devices. The programme is run by the Education for Children organisation which is active in Jocotenango, a region of Guatemala marked by extreme poverty, gang crime, drugs and alcohol, as well as by domestic and sexual violence;
  • “Football for All in Vietnam”, a partnership programme between the Football Association of Norway and the Vietnam Football Federation, which promotes education and cultural values through football for young people – in particular girls, minorities and disabled children;
  • Football for Life (F4L) Academy, a specialised educational programme, based on playing and designed for the world’s most marginalised children. Since 2014, in the Philippines, F4L has been using football to help disadvantaged children to continue their schooling and escape from intergenerational poverty, and connects marginalised children with prominent local football players to motivate them;
  • A programme run by Plan Nederland in partnership with Johan Cruyff Foundation, working to reduce early pregnancies and forced marriages among young girls in Nicaragua, using football as a vehicle to make girls more autonomous and reinforce the process of social change. Fathers and boys are being encouraged to actively support the girls;
  • The “Beyond the Pitches’ Green” project run by the Instituto Fazer Acontecer, a non-governmental organisation based in Brazil which promotes sport’s potential as a powerful tool for social change. This project will enable the training of 300 instructors in Football3 methodology, benefitting more than 900 young people from disadvantaged communities in 15 towns across the country.

Inauguration of the Za’atari House of Sports

UEFA Foundation for Children expands its assistance for refugees

A major project financed by the UEFA Foundation for Children has reached fruition today with the inauguration of the House of Sports at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan.

The House of Sports, constructed inside the camp, will provide a single umbrella facility for all sports activities there. The venue was officially opened in the presence of representatives of the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UEFA Foundation for Children, and French former international footballer Christian Karembeu.

Prince Ali bin Hussein, AFDP founder, declared: “Every child deserves a nurturing environment, and the displaced children of Syria are no exception. Today, we dedicate to thousands of young refugees a healthy and vibrant space and the necessary tools for engaging in activities that can brighten up their day and, hopefully, their future as well. I wholeheartedly thank the UEFA Foundation for Children for supporting the Asian Football Development Project’s efforts for social change, and for keeping the spark of hope alive among children through football since the opening of the Za’atari refugee camp in 2012.”

“This is an important milestone within our projects at the Za’atari camp,” said Pascal Torres, UEFA Foundation for Children general secretary. “When the foundation decides to finance a project, an important goal is to ensure the continuity of the benefits for the children. Since 2013, men and women have received training to become football coaches and, today, we are inaugurating facilities that will enable all the children in the camp who wish to play sport to do so in a safe environment.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children will now expand its activities in local host communities in Jordan, which are home to many child refugees from Syria and other countries in conflict. The aim of this new initiative is to reinforce the work with Jordanian children and child refugees through socio-educational and sports projects, in particular football. This initiative is being undertaken in collaboration with the Jordanian ministry of education, and will be implemented in 12 schools across the country, with some 15,000 children expected to benefit.

Norman Darmanin Demajo, a member of the foundation’s board of trustees and president of the Malta Football Association, made the trip to the Za’atari camp. “I am very happy to be in Za’atari to see all the work that is being done with children at the camp, and to discover the positive impact that sport has on their daily lives,” he said. “The House of Sports that has been inaugurated today is a major sustainability asset. The foundation will extend its work outside the camp to include local schools in Jordan, with the support of the Jordanian authorities. Through its programmes, the UEFA Foundation for Children aims to address the grassroots of poverty and suffering.”

Football united against the bombing of civilians

Stadium of Trondheim - Norway

Two children from conflict zones to escort the teams onto the pitch at the UEFA Super Cup

This year’s UEFA Super Cup, which will take place on Tuesday 9 August in the Norwegian city of Trondheim and will be contested by Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC, will be used to send a message of peace and solidarity to civilian victims of bombing around the world. During the pre-match ceremony, the two team captains will be escorted onto the field of play by two disabled child refugees who have found sanctuary in Norway – one from Afghanistan and the other from Syria. Together, they will carry the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League trophies out onto the pitch.

The UEFA Foundation for Children is working with Handicap International, which defends the rights of disabled people worldwide, improves their living conditions and helps them to integrate into society. The foundation is also supporting Handicap International’s new worldwide Stop Bombing Civilians campaign, calling for compliance with international law, which prohibits warring parties from targeting civilians and public buildings, with many children often among the victims. The UEFA Foundation for Children’s support for this campaign forms part of its ongoing commitment to assisting child victims of conflict in the areas of health, education, access to sport, personal development, social integration and the protection of children’s rights.

This initiative would not be possible without the support of UEFA, the Football Association of Norway, the UEFA Super Cup’s local organising committee in Trondheim, and Real Madrid CF and Sevilla FC. This event will mark the launch of an extensive campaign organised by Handicap International with the aim of mobilising public opinion against the large-scale use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas.

Bombing civilians is not war; it’s a crime.”

Leif Ivar Akselvoll from the Football Association of Norway explains: “The UEFA Super Cup is being contested in Trondheim as part of the centenary celebrations taking place in honour of Rosenborg BK, which has a rich pedigree at both domestic and European level. It is a great honour for us to be staging this match, playing host to the cream of European football. This match and its opening ceremony will send a message of peace, putting the spotlight on children – the future of our world – and highlighting the role that football can play in the area of social integration. We are working hard to make this an event for everyone, and we are looking forward to welcoming all the fans to Trondheim. We align ourselves to the campaign “No to the bombing of civilian!” initiated by Handicap International.”

Manuel Patrouillard, managing director of Handicap International, adds: “The use of explosive weapons in populated areas is unacceptable. Bombing civilians is not war; it’s a crime. There is an urgent need to protect civilian populations and force warring parties to comply with international humanitarian law.”

Handicap International: Following a 30-year campaign against anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions, which led to those weapons being outlawed under the Ottawa Mine Ban Convention of 1997 and the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions of 2008, Handicap International has, since 2011, been calling on the international community to oppose the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. It is currently engaged in an extensive awareness-raising campaign aimed at preventing such practices

Official website:

Campaign against the bombing of civilians in populated areas:

Streetfootballworld festival opens in Lyon

The streetfootballworld Festival16 in Lyon, hosted by the Sport dans la Ville association in the French city and backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, will involve 500 youngsters from disadvantaged communities worldwide.

Football’s timeless power as a vehicle for social good will take center stage in Lyon in the coming days, as UEFA EURO 2016 moves towards an exciting climax.

The streetfootballworld Festival16, hosted by the Sport dans la Ville association in the French city and backed by the UEFA Foundation for Children, begins on Tuesday and, until 6 July, will feature a packed programme of social and educational events bringing together more than 500 young participants from disadvantaged communities across the world.

The festival gives the opportunity for participants to share in a multicultural experience, increase their awareness of the global impact of football as a force for good, and help their local communities by sharing experiences and knowledge gained from the festival when they return home.

A major attraction during Festival16 will be a football tournament with participants from 50 countries, which will take place on 5 and 6 July as the UEFA EURO 2016 semi-finals get under way. The tournament will be played using football3, a methodology tool incorporating key life lessons into every match.

UEFA Foundation for Children ambassadors will attend this event, and a particular highlight on 5 July will be a UEFA Stars Solidarity Match.

Other activities at Festival16 include a youth forum designed, among other things, to help youngsters develop leadership skills and promote important social messages; a Football for Good summit in which global experts will exchange ideas and opinions on how they use football to inspire social change; and a delegation exchange programme that will foster cultural diversity and integration among participants.

Funds donated to the UEFA foundation by the Swiss watchmaker Hublot, official watch of UEFA EURO 2016, are helping finance the logistical operation at the festival. Official UEFA EURO 2016 airline partner Turkish Airlines is providing travel support for participants.

More details of the streetfootballworld Festival16 can be found here.

The UEFA Foundation for Children is also organising the 20,000 Children’s Smiles initiative which, with the help of a large number of ambassadors, is giving 20,000 disadvantaged children the chance to attend UEFA EURO 2016 matches.

UEFA Foundation for Children defends child refugees’ rights

Thanks to football, the foundation supports children and gives them new prospects for the future.

To mark World Refugee Day on 20 June, the UEFA Foundation for Children reaffirms its support for partner bodies who are working to improve the lives of child refugees, respecting their fundamental rights and their dignity.

Since its creation in April 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children has been involved in projects that defend the rights of child refugees. At the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, the foundation has set up numerous sports activities, as well as a football championship, which enables the children in the camp to play in a safe environment.

In the Middle East, the UEFA foundation is continuing its support work for refugees in Jordan, and is giving financial support to the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP). In Lebanon, the foundation is providing financial assistance to the FC Barcelona Foundation, the Cross Cultures Project Association (CCPA) and streetfootballworld, which are setting up projects which make use of football to strengthen social cohesion, encourage reconciliation and peaceful coexistence within communities and promote education. Last but not least, the foundation is supporting the Spirit of Soccer project in Iraq, which aims to use the power of football to make children in camps aware of the dangers of anti-personnel landmines and explosive remnants of war.

Thanks to a €2m donation made by UEFA last December, the foundation has earmarked support to countries affected by a huge influx of refugees. In Europe, the foundation is supporting urgent humanitarian projects led by Terre des Hommes (TdH) to assist unaccompanied children and families with children under five years of age in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece.

A portion of this financial support has enabled the creation of a solidarity fund to help child refugees and facilitate their social integration into host communities in Europe. This fund will be made available to NGOs, national associations and the wider football family, with operations coordinated with the streetfootballworld network. So far, 19 organisations in 13 European countries are benefitting from this support fund:

Bosnia-Herzegovina:         Football Friends

France:                    Sport dans la Ville

Georgia:                   Cross Cultures Project Association

Germany:                  Amandla Edufootball, Champions Ohne Grenzen, KICKFAIR, Rheinflanke, Rheinflanke & FC Internationale

Greece:                   Terre des Hommes, Diogenis

Hungary:                  Oltalom Sport Association

Italy:                      Balon Mundial

Netherlands:               Johann Cruyff Foundation

Republic of Ireland/ Northern Ireland:           Sport Against Racism Ireland

Serbia:                    Football Friends

Spain:                     Red Deporte y Cooperación

Ukraine:                   Scort Foundation

United Kingdom:           Sport4Life, Start Again Project, Tigers Sport & Education Trust

In addition, the UEFA Foundation for Children is devoting particular attention to displaced persons in Ukraine. It is supporting the “Play away, Play everywhere” project, led by the Ukrainian Football Federation (FFU), and which aims to facilitate the social integration of displaced children by enabling them to play football.


2016 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards

Recognising community organisations and their role in helping charitable partners

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s decision-making body – the board of trustees, chaired by former European Commission president José Manuel Durão Barroso – held its latest meeting on 13 June at the foundation’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

Nominations for the 2016 UEFA Foundation for Children Awards were one of the key items on the agenda. Responsibility for managing and awarding the annual €1 million UEFA Monaco charity award passed from the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee to the UEFA Foundation for Children in 2015, when it became the UEFA Foundation for Children Awards.

The foundation’s board of trustees have established a new selection system to acknowledge and raise the profile of community groups and their contribution to the activities they support. To be eligible for an award, charities must be linked to football, or sport in general, and seek to promote peace, integration, greater social harmony, respect for differences and non-discrimination.

The first UEFA Foundation for Children Award winners are:

  • streetfootballworld: a network that unites more than 100 community organisations behind a common goal – changing the world through football.
  • Colombianitos: a body aiming to improve the quality of life of children and young people and their communities, through sport, recreation, education and health.
  • Just Play: a programme that improves the lives of children in the Pacific region through football.
  • Right To Play: a programme using the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.
  • Magic Bus: a programme that steers children towards a better life with better awareness, better life skills and better opportunities in the journey from childhood to livelihood.

The board of trustees also reviewed all ongoing projects, especially those related to a solidarity fund for migrant and displaced children, which was set up with a €2m donation approved by the UEFA Executive Committee on 11 December 2015. Various projects are being implemented to help migrants and displaced children from the Middle East and eastern European countries such as Ukraine and Georgia, and also to support European host countries that are receiving unprecedented numbers of migrants.

In Europe, projects are being put in place in 13 countries in cooperation with 19 different associations. These projects will help more than 30,000 people, of which 65% are migrants and 35% are people active in society, such as coaches and teachers.

In the Middle East, the UEFA Foundation for Children is continuing its support of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon through projects that are using football to promote social cohesion, foster reconciliation and peaceful coexistence within communities, and promote education.

Following the meeting of the foundation’s board of trustees, chairman José Manuel Durão Barroso said: “The UEFA Foundation for Children is already making a difference all over the world. Already today, thousands of children who are underprivileged or living in difficult circumstances are being supported in their daily lives by the Foundation through education and opportunities to play, among other things.

In order to develop our activities we will continue to look for new forms of financing that respect the code of ethics – and we will do this with complete transparency.

We consider that developing our activities hand-in-hand with other organizations whose projects are linked to sport is a sustainable way to increase the results of our work, namely, by promoting deep integration and creating social harmony.”


The UEFA Foundation for Children is currently supporting projects in 44 different countries or territories:

  • 20 in Europe: in Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.
  • 7 in Africa: in Angola, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia and Uganda.
  • 2 in South America: in Brazil and Colombia.
  • 11 in Oceania: in American Samoa, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
  • 4 in Asia: in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Nepal.

These activities are carried out in partnership with 35 charitable organisations, 12 national football associations and a number of UN agencies.

Putting smiles on faces at UEFA EURO 2016

The UEFA Foundation for Children project 20,000 Children’s Smiles gives 20,000 disadvantaged youngsters the opportunity to attend matches at UEFA EURO 2016.

On the initiative of the UEFA Foundation for Children and in close cooperation with EURO 2016 SAS and the tournament’s host cities, 20,000 Children’s Smiles is giving 20,000 youngsters aged 12 to 18 the opportunity to attend UEFA EURO 2016 matches in their local area.

The project is being rolled out throughout the group stage (not including the opening match) and the round of 16, i.e. at 43 different matches across all ten host cities, with an average of 500 tickets being made available per match.

The project would not have been possible without the support of the host cities, which identified local organisations working day in, day out with young people in difficult situations. The host cities and the UEFA Foundation for Children together have taken care of all the logistics, particularly in terms of administrative support and transport.

The local organisations selected to take part in the project include community centres, rehabilitation centres, medical centres and local football clubs. They will be the ones accompanying the youngsters to the matches. Some of the youngsters were offered this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in exchange for some kind of community service, such as helping to clean up parts of the city. That was the case in Marseille, for example, where a clean-up operation was organised on Prado Beach.

Media representatives looking for more information are invited to contact the project leaders in the different host cities:


Lens Agglo



Marseille   or