TIPS – a tool for the uses of the new technologies with children with ASD

TIPS – feedback from the use of the new technologies with children with autism spectrum disorder symptoms (ASD)

On the occasion of the world autism awareness day, FIRAH and its universities and stakeholders European partners publish TIPS.

This booklet in done in a question and answer format. It gathers answers of children and adolescents with ASD, to their parents, and to professionals working with these children on the use of new technologies. The questionnaires included questions on the digital tools and method of use, the different areas (educational, communication, logic…) in which they were used, appropriation, and specific questions on verbal communication and social interactions. The questionnaires were filled in by 111 professionals, 137 parents, and 90 children or adolescents with ASD, from Belgium, France, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Tips was created through the autism and new technologies program led by FIRAH and the UEFA Foundation for children.

Read about Tips


Match for Solidarity – Reducing inequalities through football

On this World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April, the UEFA Foundation for Children is reaffirming its desire to ensure that no child is left behind. On the same occasion, we would like to invite you to support the Match for Solidarity being held at the Stade de Genève on 21 April. The proceeds from this match, which is being organised jointly by UEFA and the United Nations, will go towards projects for children with disabilities

Differences are opportunities, and being different should never stand in the way of any child. In order to reinforce this message, UEFA and the Office of the United Nations in Geneva are teaming up to organise the Match for Solidarity to promote peace and human rights, and to reduce inequalities (in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10). Legends of the game will be turning out to play in the match at the Stade de Genève on Saturday 21 April.

All the proceeds from the event, including from ticket sales and an online auction, will go to the UEFA Foundation for Children to finance projects benefitting children with disabilities.

In Geneva, the proceeds will be used to support the awareness campaign being run by the Autisme Genève association to promote understanding of people with autism, acceptance of differences and appreciation of diversity in society.

People don’t suffer from autism, they suffer from a lack of support and from the way people view those who are different. Just like us, people with autism can be amazing, sensitive, puzzling, intelligent, fascinating, funny, touching, and so on. Blue is the colour of autism and it colours the lives of the families of people with autism: intense, rich, exciting and sometimes exhausting lives,” says Elvira David Coppex, Autisme Genève committee member.

On a global level, projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America will also benefit from the event.

Humanity is enriched by its differences and each of us must endeavour to ensure that all children enjoy the same opportunities. We each have a responsibility to respect them, to help them develop and to protect them from all forms of exclusion.

Come along, bring your friends and, together, let’s support the children of today and tomorrow.


Tickets available from:

#Morethanfootball Action Weeks 2018

This year again, the UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting the #Morethanfootball action weeks run by the European Football for Development Network (EFDN).

The action weeks give participating football clubs and leagues the opportunity to demonstrate the social impact of their community projects and raise awareness of the transformative role that European club football can play in changing peoples’ lives for the better.

This year’s action weeks take place from 21 March to 8 April.

To highlight the foundation’s support for the campaign, it will share LED boards with #Morethanfootball at the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on 3 and 4 April and the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on 5 April and broadcast the campaign’s official video on the giant screens.

A new feature for the 2018 action weeks, intended to increase its impact, is the Around the world #Morethanfootball Challenge, which encourages football fans, players and coaches to actively share why they believe that football is more than a game and record their own video.

The UEFA Foundation for Children will be sharing some of its projects with the #Morethanfootball hashtag as well, thereby helping to take the message of the action weeks to a wider audience.

Schedule and topics
21.03.2018 Launch Video #Morethanfootball Around the World
22.03.2018 #Morethanfootball Workshop Paris
27.03.2018 Education CSR programmes
28.03.2018 Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination CSR programmes
29.03.2018 Environmental / Sustainability CSR programmes
30.03.2018 Disability CSR Programmes
02.04.2018 Mental Health CSR Programmes (linked to World Autism Awareness Day)
03.04.2018 Supporting Refugees CSR Programmes
04.04.2018 Employability CSR Programmes
05.04.2018 Social Cohesion CSR Programmes
06.04.2018 International Community CSR Programmes (linked to International Day of Sport Development and Peace)
07.04.2018 Health CSR Programmes (linked to World Heath Day)

Journalists and bloggers can access and download UEFA Foundation for Children and #Morethanfootball content for editorial purposes by visiting : Newsroom

Please read the Impact report 2018

Nissan partner to tackle youth employability challenges in France and the UK

PARIS, France & LONDON, England (15th February 2018) – Today Nissan is joining UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld to support grassroots organisations Sport dans la Ville in France and Street League in the United Kingdom.

Part of its mission to create a “cleaner, safer, fairer” world, Nissan is addressing the issue of the roughly 7 million young people (15-24) in Europe that are Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEETs).

In the beginning of February 2018, the two-year partnerships in France and the UK are aligned with activities run by the Nissan Skills Foundation in the UK, which seek to encourage the next generation of talent in design, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

Stuart Jackson, VP Brand & Communications for Nissan Europe said: “At Nissan we believe in creating a cleaner, safer, fairer society through the power of our people and our products. As an official UEFA Champions League partner, we are now looking to harness the power of football to create a fairer society and brighten the futures of young people across Europe.”

Chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children and UEFA president, Aleksander Čeferin, said: “Improving the employment prospects of underprivileged young people in Europe is a huge challenge for us as a society. We welcome this new partnership with official UEFA Champions League sponsor Nissan Europe, who recognises its responsibility in society and lives up to this by investing in the communities they operate in to increase youth employability.”

“Football has a proven ability to bring people together and change lives,” commented streetfootballworld Partnership Director, Johannes Axster. “We’re grateful that Nissan recognises the potential for football-based social development programmes to empower young people in disadvantaged communities, while also providing Nissan employees with the opportunity to get engaged in meaningful activities in France and the UK.”

UK organisation Street League’s vision is to see an end to youth unemployment. Nissan will support “Academy” programmes in the London and Tees Valley areas, which work with 20 young people at any one time over a 10-week period. In 2017 alone, Street League lifted 1,731 young people into employment, education or training. “Street League are delighted to be working in partnership with Nissan to help even more young people find a positive future using the power of sport,” said Matt Stevenson-Dodd, Chief Executive Street League. “Our Academies do this by offering a mixture of employability sessions, sporting activities and life skills development.”

Sport dans la Ville is France’s leading non-profit association, serving disadvantaged boys and girls aged 6-25 by offering sports and job-readiness training. Through its “Job dans la Ville” programme, the organisation provides individual careers support, mentoring, work experience, and skill-building workshops. In 2017, a total of 1054 youths participated in the Job dans la Ville programme across France, with 73% of participants subsequently attaining a job or position on an education programme. “Thanks to our partnership with Nissan and the UEFA Foundation for Children, we will be able to amplify our actions in the Paris area to help even more youth in their social and professional integration,” said Elise Curioni, Directrice Partenariats Ile-de-France, Sport dans la Ville



The UEFA Champions League partnership is another example of Nissan’s dedication and growth in global sports, which includes: major international cricket events, such as the ICC Men’s and Women’s World Cups, the Canadian Football League, the Heisman Trust and Heisman Trophy, and the City Football Group, which includes the Manchester City, Melbourne City and New York City clubs. Nissan’s NCAA partnership in the US also marks the widest-reaching sponsorship in the history of collegiate sports – backing 100 colleges and universities, as well as select NCAA Championships – covering 22 sports. In addition, Nissan has a number of sporting ambassadors, including footballers Gareth Bale and Sergio Agüero.



streetfootballworld is the world’s leading non-profit in the field of football for good. Football has a unique power to change the world for good. streetfootballworld´s goal is to unleash this power.

The organisation bridges the gap between community organisations that use football to change lives, with supporters and donors from the world of football, business, politics and philanthropy, who believe in their potential to change the world. streetfootballworld´s global network unites 126 community organisations in 81 countries empowering 2,5 million disadvantaged young people every year. Its impact has been recognised with a variety of awards from the likes of Laureus, UEFA and the World Economic Forum.


Sport dans la Ville is France’s leading non-profit association serving disadvantaged boys and girls, ages 6-25, through sports and job-readiness training. Founded in 1998, it operates in the most deprived urban neighbourhoods and has touched the lives of countless underprivileged youth across France. Through free football programmes they impart the values of teamwork, self-confidence and determination, leading young people toward brighter futures. The professional skills training and job placement programme is moving youth from unemployment to opportunity.


Street League’s vision is to see an end to youth unemployment in the UK. The organisation does this using the power of sport to transform the lives of young unemployed people. Street League works with those aged 16-24 who are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET) and have been out of work for 3 months or more. Through their award-winning Academies and the power of sport, young unemployed people gain the skills, experience and confidence to secure sustained employment. Street League operates in 14 cities and 38 local communities across England and Scotland. Since the programme began six years ago, Street League has helped lift 5,526 young people into employment, education or training.

Logo streeetfootballworld
Logo Sport dans la ville

Match For Solidarity tickets go on sale

Legendary players signing up for joint UEFA-UN charity football match in Geneva

UEFA and the United Nations Office in Geneva have announced that tickets for the Match For Solidarity went on sale today, as football legends continued to sign up to play in the joint UEFA-United Nations charity game.

The match takes place on Saturday 21 April 2018 at 16.00CET at the Stade de Genève, with pre-match activities involving local and international children starting around an hour before kick-off. Tickets are priced at CHF 10, CHF 17 and CHF 22, and can be purchased at

The two teams will be captained by Luís Figo and Ronaldinho, and will have Carlo Ancelotti and Didier Deschamps as the coaches. The match will be refereed by Pierluigi Collina.

Other players who have signed up to play include: Éric Abidal, Cafu, Youri Djorkaeff, Alex Frei, Luis García, Nuno Gomes, Christian Karembeu, Fernando Hierro, Jari Litmanen, Gaizka Mendieta, Robert Pirès, Célia Šašić and David Trezeguet – with more to follow. Further information on the line-ups of the two teams will be announced in the coming weeks.

Speaking at a media conference which took place today at the Palais des Nations in Geneva to launch the ticket sales, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: “Football can have a big impact in improving people’s lives, therefore it is great to see so many football stars unite around such a great cause. I strongly believe that our sport can play a key role in social change and this charity match is a great example of football being a force for good. I send my wholehearted support to all those involved in this special event in Geneva, including all the players and fans, and I am looking forward to attending this match.”

Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, added: “This initiative once again highlights the unique synergies we have in Geneva to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals the world needs to reach by 2030. I hope this first Match will become a yearly happening, as a reminder of the work we must continue to do, all together, so no child – no person – is left behind.”

Legendary football star and current UEFA football advisor, Luís Figo, said: “I am very honoured to be part of this very important event, from a local and global point of view. With the ticket sales officially starting today, I invite everyone from the city of Geneva and beyond to come and watch this match and play their part in contributing to such an important cause. It’s great to see so many legends from the world of football joining forces to raise money for the benefit of children in need.”

The match is being organised to promote the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set out by the United Nations, with a specific focus on reducing inequalities, Goal number 10.

The proceeds from this match, as well as from the charity dinner and a unique digital football auction, will go to the UEFA Foundation for Children. The funds will be used to finance humanitarian and development projects to help children with disabilities both at a local and global level. These projects will be selected by a committee of representatives from UEFA, the United Nations Office in Geneva and the Fondation du Stade de Genève.


Queen’s Baton debuts in Vanuatu on island of fire

Over 600 children celebrate arrival of the Queen’s Baton to Ambae at Just Play Emergency Programme festivals

Port Vila, 9 December 2017: On 9 December the Queen’s Baton arrived on the island of fire, Ambae, Vanuatu.  Awaiting its arrival were more than 600 children from the Just Play Emergency Programme, at the base of the Manaro volcano.

Through its partnership with the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a sports-based emergency response on 20 November, which supported more than 2000 children forced to evacuate their homes after volcanic action threatened their homes.  In coordination with the Just Play programme, this emergency response programme supported children through Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) centres, primary schools and communities.

“Ensuring children and families are given the right kind of support and messages to support psychosocial recovery after a major event in their lives is important,” said UNICEF Representative, Sheldon Yett. “Parents can start focussing on rebuilding their lives once they can see their children happy and playing – and we can do this through sports,” he added.

Recognizing the important role sport can play in supporting the psychosocial recovery of children after an emergency, the Just Play Emergency programme supported the dissemination of critical messages through play-based sessions and festivals.

“Football has an important role to play both on and off the field. We view the Just Play Emergency Programme as a key component in making positive contributions to the lives of children across the Pacific,” OFC President David Chung said.  “We know that in times of disaster, children and families rely on routine, which sport can provide to help them recover and regain the confidence to move forward.”

Kicking off celebrations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Cost, the Queen’s Baton is making its Commonwealth tour.  On its epic journey to the Gold Cost, the baton will cover over 200,000 km in less than 400 days – making its debut in Vanuatu on the East and West of Ambae at the Just Play Emergency Programme festivals.  The baton leverages the power of sport, bringing people together as it is passed hand, to hand, reinforcing inspiring messages of hope, recovery and perseverance for the children of Ambae.

The Just Play Emergency Programme was delivered in partnership with the Vanuatu Football Federation, the Fiji Football Association, the Union of European Football Association (UEFA), UEFA Foundation for Children, Vanuatu Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) and the Government of Vanuatu.

Related news to the programme: here

UEFA Foundation for Children – Activity Report 2016/17

Since it was established in 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children has made a considerable difference to the lives of thousands of children in Europe and beyond, bringing smiles to their faces, creating opportunities for them to realise their dreams and giving them hope for the future.

The foundation’s most recent efforts to improve children’s well-being and protect their rights, primarily through football and other sports, are reviewed in detail in the organisation’s activity report for 2016/17.

The report uses facts, figures, photos and graphics to show how more than 700,000 children benefitted from activities supported by the foundation in the period under review – through 82 projects in 66 countries. It also reveals how support for refugee children in Europe and the Middle East was increased, with a particular emphasis on using football as a source of fun and motivation.

A total of 12 new projects have been launched to support disadvantaged children, reinforcing the foundation’s work in Europe and around the world.

Ties with UEFA’s 55 member associations were also strengthened, with the foundation inviting them to select the nominees for the 2017 UEFA Foundation for Children Award, as a result of which 20 charitable bodies working together with national football associations received dedicated funding.

“We owe our success to the unwavering support of our partners,” said José Manuel Barroso, who recently retired as chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees. “First and foremost UEFA, but also our private partners.

“I would like to thank all of our volunteers, partners and everyone else who has helped us to further develop our activities,” he added.

“The UEFA Foundation for Children is fully committed to improving the lives of children living in difficult circumstances and will continue to pursue and promote even greater solidarity, and endeavour to support even more projects in 2018.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s activity report for 2016/17 is available via the following link: interactive activity report 2016/17

New projects funded by the UEFA Foundation for Children

Additional funds allocated to 28 projects in support of vulnerable children around the world.

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s board of trustees, led by its new chairman, Aleksander Čeferin, met at the House of European Football in Nyon on 22 November, when they were invited to approve a host of new projects shortlisted following the 2017 call for projects held in August and September this year.

A great many project applications were received. In order to narrow down the selection, a working group of trustees was established to draw up a shortlist that took into account budgetary forecasts and the foundation’s ethics code. On the basis of this shortlist, the board has approved 28 projects, half of which are in Europe.

The new European programmes supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children use sport, and football in particular, to give the most vulnerable a chance to participate in physical activity, which is vital for their healthy physical and psychological development. They convey a wide range of societal values in a way that is relevant to children. Topics such as well-being, self-esteem, tolerance, inclusion of minorities, conflict resolution, learning to live together, education and employability are addressed alongside active training sessions. Four of the new European projects relate to the social integration of child refugees in host communities.

The 14 projects outside Europe give the UEFA Foundation for Children a presence on all continents. These programmes aim to protect children and young adults who are victims of social, economic, political or armed conflicts. In crisis-hit countries, the principles enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child often fall by the wayside. Through sport and games, a fun, educational approach can be adopted to address social issues such as early marriage, birth control, the importance of school, health, hygiene and well-being.

Nathalie Iannetta, one of the trustees who was part of the working group that shortlisted the projects, said: “All we ever hear about football concerns the big competitions, the transfers and the scandals. At the UEFA Foundation for Children, however, we can see on a daily basis how our sport is a powerful driver of social change. The projects that were sent to us from all over the world are proof that, thanks to football, it is possible to support the social integration of refugees, the empowerment of girls, the faster, more sustainable inclusion of disabled people, and so on. The wide variety of projects that we received is a hallmark of the extraordinary richness and generosity inherent in each of us.”

List of new partners and their projects:

Action for Development, Afghanistan School for Street Children
Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, Karabakh Brave Hearts
Baan Dek Foundation, Thailand Football4Good
Football United, Myanmar Football United Myanmar
Fotbal Pro Rozvoj, Czech Republic Football for development in Czech Republic
Foundation of Polish Soccer, Poland Football Film Festival
Fundación Red Deporte y Cooperacíon, Spain Football With No Limits
Game International, Kosovo Game Kosova
Johan Cruyff Foundation, Aruba, Caribbean Cruyff Courts in the Dutch Caribbean
Kick It Out, United Kingdom Diversity in Football Leadership Pathway
Light For The World International, Bolivia Inclusion of children & Youth with disabilities
National Children’s Football Alliance, Belgium Global Peace Game
Oceania Football Confederation, Oceania Just Play
Oltalom Sport Association, Hungary Football for Respect!
Orama Neon Youthorama, Thessaloniki, Greece A ball for all children, a goal for inclusion
Paris Saint-Germain Foundation, France Allez les Filles!
PluSport, Switzerland Goal Plus
Royal Europa 90 Kraainem Football Club, Belgium We welcome young refugees
Ruud Van Nistelrooy Foundation, Netherlands Talent group
SALT Academy, Cambodia Football For Development after-school programme
Soccer in the Streets, Atlanta, United States Refugee Life Skills and Employment Training Soccer Program Atlanta
Sport dans la Ville, France Job dans la Ville
Streetfootballworld, Jordan and Lebanon Empowering refugee and marginalised children
Terre des Hommes, Egypt Protection and social inclusion
Tiempo de Juego Foundation, Columbia Creciendo con el Balón/ Fútbol for Growth
Triangle Génération Humanitaire (TGH), Central African Republic and Republic of the Congo Improving the protection, education and reintegration of street children in Bangui and Brazzaville
UEFA Foundation for Children, Jordane Football at the Zaatari refugee camp
UNIS VERS le SPORT, Senegal UVS – Interational Education Centre



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.


For additional information:

Media: Newsroom

You can also follow the foundation on social media

Just Play emergency programme set up in Vanuatu

On 28 September 2017, the Vanuatu Council of Ministers declared a state of emergency and ordered the mandatory evacuation of all 11,600 residents of Ambae Island amid the continuous eruption of the Monaro Volcano. The evacuees were relocated across the neighbouring islands of Espiritu Santo, Maewo and Pentecost.  Repatriations started on 21 October, and today around 71% of the Ambae residents are back on home soil. Following the Ambae evacuation and repatriation, concerns relating to the education, health and nutrition, protection and psychosocial support of children remain at the forefront of the emergency response efforts.

Supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children, the latest Just Play emergency programme – developed by the Oceania Football Confederation in partnership with UNICEF – was launched on 17 November on Ambae Island, after having been given the go-ahead by the Vanuatu government-led emergency committee, for a period of five weeks.

The Just Play programme uses football to support the psychosocial recovery of children after natural disasters. Just Play sessions are used to encourage children to draw pictures and to share their experiences and the effects on them and their families, which helps them to start their recovery process. The programme also includes key messages from the government of Vanuatu that are relevant to the context of repatriation. The direct beneficiaries of the programme are children and adolescents aged between 6 and 16.

The objectives of the Just Play emergency programme are to teach children how to keep themselves and their families safe during an emergency and to support their recovery after a natural disaster. The curriculum incorporates key recovery and response messages, which include:

  • coping with an emergency;
  • hand-washing and water safety;
  • food security;
  • general safety and security.

Expected results

  • Over 2,000 children will participate in Just Play emergency programme activities and receive psychosocial support.
  • Children will achieve greater understanding and awareness of how to prepare for and cope with future emergencies.
  • Two large-scale festivals will be organised, engaging a minimum of 300 children.

The Just Play programme has already demonstrated the positive impact it can have. After Cyclone Pam, a category-five tropical storm, devastated Vanuatu in 2015, the Oceania Football Confederation worked with UNICEF to use the Just Play programme platform to provide vital information and support in the aftermath of what turned out to be one of the worst natural disasters in Pacific history, affecting more than 166,000 people, including 82,000 children, across 22 islands. Lessons learned from those emergency response activities were used to develop the Just Play emergency programme into what it is today.

Just Play programme in the Pacific Islands.

Eagles book their place at the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships

The members of the Solidarité Aveugle (Blind Solidarity) project have been rewarded for their perseverance. The Eagles will fly to Spain to represent Mali at the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships.

Visually impaired footballers from all parts of Africa donned their blindfolds and battled it out at the recently held IBSA Blind Football African Championships. Among them were the Eagles of Mali, all members of the Solidarité Aveugle (Blind Solidarity) project run by the French Libre Vue association, who set the tone with a 12-0 victory over Cape Verde in their opening match. “We went with the aim of bringing the cup home and qualifying for the 2018 World Championships,” said Mali forward Bandiougou Traoré.

Efforts rewarded

Qualifying is one thing, but the opportunity to play is another. The Mali team’s participation in the second edition of the IBSA Blind Football African Championships in Cape Verde was no foregone conclusion. And Mali is not alone. Sending a team to an event like this is expensive and, without the support of the relevant authorities, often more than small associations can afford. Financial difficulties prevented Ivory Coast from taking part, for example. Fortunately, however, thanks to the efforts of the Libre Vue association, it was a different story for the Eagles. Having already secured funding from the UEFA Foundation for Children, Libre Vue also set up a successful crowdfunding campaign to fund their participation.

Blind football, an effective tool for social integration

The battle was not in vain, as the Mali team’s determined approach saw them finish in an impressive second place and thus qualify for the IBSA Blind Football World Championships to be played in Madrid from 5 to 18 June 2018.

The Blind Solidarity project gives visually impaired youngsters from Bamako an opportunity to discover blind football and its values, and to increase their self-confidence. A total of 150 young people aged between 7 and 25 participate in the project, which runs five training sessions each week. For Bandiougou Traoré, who has been playing blind football for five years, playing in such a competition is a dream come true. “It’s an honour, it’s something I’m really proud of!” he says. As well as requiring commitment, endurance and concentration, blind football helps to send out a strong message of integration and social cohesion by changing perceptions of disabled people. When they represent their country, blind footballers are not defined by their disability: they are players and nothing else.

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


Our partners


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.

Using the power of football to unite the world

The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting ELEVEN, a film project developed by the Eleven Campaign, a non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom, which operates in 11 different countries. The campaign’s mission is to create educational audiovisual projects and charitable events that harness the power of sport to celebrate diversity and promote equality and cross-cultural collaboration.

Project summary
ELEVEN is a feature-length documentary about the power of football to unite the world. It follows the stories of 11 eleven-year-old football-loving children from 11 different countries as they come together to form a football team and prepare for the biggest match of their lives.

Over the past three years, the 11 young heroes have been documented in their hometowns, focusing on how their environment, family, culture and passion for football have shaped their character. By observing them in their individual environments, as well as during their joint training sessions, viewers will witness how the universal language of football can break down communication barriers and unite those who are seemingly so different. The finished documentary will be shown at festivals and in schools, universities and sports academies, and combined with interactive activities that promote the use of sport for development and peace.

The countries participating in the project are Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Japan, Rwanda, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, UK and USA.

For further information visit:

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.”