Lay’s RePlay opens Leicester football pitch from upcycled crisp packets

Walkers RePlay opens Leicester football pitch from upcycled crisp packets

In partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children and NGO streetfootballworld, PepsiCo, a long-standing UEFA Champions League partner, has launched this global initiative to transform empty crisp bags into sustainable football pitches

Football fans in Leicester now have access to a brand-new five-aside football pitch, which has been constructed from upcycled crisp packets. The facility, which is located at New Parks Community Hub in the city, is part of the Lay’s RePlay global project and will provide a hub for local football players driving positive change by offering educational sports programmes, mental health workshops, employability interventions and football fitness sessions.  

The pitch in Leicester follows on from the inaugural facility, which was constructed in Tembisa, near Johannesburg, in June with local footballing legend Lucas Radebe. Further pitches in Russia, Turkey and Brazil will be constructed in due course.  

 “We know a passion for football can last a lifetime and thanks to the Lay’s RePlay initiative we’ll be able to preserve the magic of football and give hope to those in the Leicester community who need it most. Together we have created a hub to inspire young people and teach them the values of respect, discipline and teamwork,” said the General Secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children, Urs Kluser. 

Each playing surface is created with a shock-absorbing layer called Ecocept™, which is formed when reclaimed crisp packs are converted into rubberized pellets. (For South Africa, more than three million chip packages were used to create the pitch.) Both the turf and the Ecocept™ layer are 100% recyclable, with each pitch producing up to 128 tons fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a standard synthetic pitch.  

Our initiative places a strong emphasis on including community members and local organizations throughout the planning, construction, and maintenance phases of each pitch, with the goal to develop programming that can address social issues impacting each community. While fostering safe access to the sport, the pitches are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible”, said Luca Pogliaghi, PepsiCo Global Sports Marketing Sr Manager.  

 Lay’s RePlay also builds on PepsiCo’s longstanding partnership with the UEFA Champions League. The initiative grew out of a 2017 collaboration between Lay’s and the UEFA Foundation for Children that created three pitches in Jordan’s Za’atari and Azraq Refugee Camps, giving 35,000 people access to football. 

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Gary Lineker – Lay's RePlay ambassador, English former professional footballer and current sports broadcaste

25th anniversary of Youth Sports Games

25th anniversary of Youth Sports Games

Europe's largest amateur junior sports tournament in the spotlight

Aleksander Čeferin, Luis Figo, Darijo Srna, Johannes Hahn, Boban, Mijatović, Malouda, Maxwell Andrade, Hierro and Davor Božinović attended the quarter-century jubilee celebration of the Youth Sports Games.

Held in Split on 20 August, the commemoration kicked off with a ceremony at the Croatian Home, in the presence of long-time partners, friends and ambassadors of the event.

Special awards for long-term support and cooperation were given to Zoran Mamić, the supervisory board president of Tommy d.o.o.; Zoran Bogdanović, the chief executive officer of Coca-Cola HBC; Predrag Mijatović, the ambassador of the Youth Sports Games; Johannes Hahn, the European budget and administration commissioner, for Ambassador of the Year 2020; and Aleksander Čeferin, the UEFA president, for Ambassador of the Year 2021.

“Sport connects, sport is love, sport is unique, sport earns the respect of all people, so a deep tribute to everything that the Youth Sports Games do. As long as I am the president of UEFA and the UEFA Foundation for Children, I will fully support the work of the games to the best of my ability,” said Aleksander Čeferin in his acceptance speech.

The guests were greeted by Ivica Puljak, the mayor of Split, and Davor Božinović, the vice-president of the Croatian government and minister of the interior. The ministry has been conducting a large educational campaign to prevent violence on sports fields in cooperation with the Youth Sports Games.

“The Youth Sports Games have given a new dimension to sports in Croatia. In these challenging times, it is important to occupy children and help them put aside their mobile phones and computers so that they embrace healthy lifestyles,” said Davor Božinović.

In his emotional speech, Zdravko Marić, the president of the Youth Sports Games, thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the event, saying: “We have been promoting tolerance, friendship, solidarity and fair play for a quarter of a century, and we hope that over these 25 years we have managed to pass these values on to many generations of young people in Croatia and the region.”

Zlatko Dalić, the head coach of the national team, Stipe Pletikosa, the former goalkeeper, and Marijan Kustić, the president of the Croatian Football Federation, also attended the ceremony.

The Youth Sports Games are involved in the Youth Sports Fair Chance project, which was also presented at the ceremony. The project fights against violence, racism, discrimination and intolerance in sport, with a total budget of €365,525, co-financed by the EU Erasmus+ programme.

After the official ceremony, the guests hurried to change into their football kits for a friendly match in Republic Square-Prokurative in Split’s oldest neighbourhood.

Football, a common passion

Young footballers from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who had taken part in the Youth Sports Games finals played against a team led by UEFA representatives: Aleksander Čeferin, Zvonimir Boban, Luis Figo, Florent Malouda, Maxwell Scherrer, along with the former Real Madrid player Fernando Hierro, the former Croatian national team players Darijo Srna and Mario Stanić, and others.

Tihomir Gudić, the executive director of the Youth Sports Games, and celebrated footballers Igor Tudor and Igor Angelovski coached the young athletes, while the star team was managed by Zdravko Marić, the president of Youth Sports Games, Martina Dalić, Podravka CEO and Davor Božinović, the Croatian vice-president.

Fulfilling the dream of playing with their idols was the biggest reward for the excited youngsters, who greatly impressed the stars. Justice on the pitch was overseen by Robert Rosetti, UEFA’s chief refereeing officer. The great atmosphere was heated up by the victory of the young athletes against the star team. The match was broadcast live for the citizens of Split and guests of the city in the fan zone on the Riva waterfront, along with an additional programme.


The closing ceremony was held on the Riva, where Aleksander Čeferin, Predrag Mijatović and Johannes Hahn presented awards to young Youth Sports Games ambassadors from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The young athletes and guests were greeted by Ivica Puljak, the mayor of Split, Tomislav Družak, the state secretary of the ministry of tourism and sport and envoy Nikola Brnjac, the minister of tourism and sports, Zdravko Marić, and deputy prime minister Davor Božinović, who closed the 25th season of the games. Before the celebration cake, congratulations were sent via video link by many athletes, including Luka Modrić, Goran Ivanišević, Slaven Bilić, Edin Džeko and Dragan Stojković Piksi.

The beautiful night in Split ended with a big firework display and a concert by Sergej Ćetković.


About the Youth Sports Games

The Youth Sports Games are the largest amateur sports event in Europe. Over the past 25 years they have attracted more than two million youngsters. Every year, from January to August, they organise sports competitions in ten sports – such as the Tommy tournament in indoor soccer 2009, Coca-Cola Cup in football, HEP handball tournament, Croatian Post Cup tennis tournament, the Kinder street basketball tournament, beach volleyball, volleyball, table tennis and chess under the auspices of the International Chess Federation – along with a sports-educational event, the Telemach Sports Day.

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Football is united against online hate

Football is united against online hate

BT’s Hope United and the UEFA Foundation for Children have joined forces to help stamp out online abuse and discrimination through the UEFA Super Cup and a unique community match in Belfast.

This year’s UEFA Super Cup, between Chelsea and Villarreal, is taking place on Wednesday 11 August in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. The UEFA Foundation for Children will use the opening ceremony to raise awareness about online hate in sport and among young people with the help of Hope United, a campaign launched by BT, broadcasters of the UEFA Super Cup. Hope United brings together a diverse team of footballers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with the aim of driving change and giving digital skills to people on how to protect themselves and others online.

During the pre-match ceremony, children selected by the Irish FA foundation and Rio Ferdinand foundations will present the Unite Against Hate banner and read a message of hope promoting respect and solidarity online.

To raise awareness of the campaign ahead of the Super Cup, BT Sport hosted a match involving children aged between 14 and 17 from community projects across Northern Ireland that are helping to bridge the sectarian divide and care for refugees who have settled here.

Players from both teams were representing Hope United, supported by footballing legends and BT Sport analysts Glenn Hoddle and Joe Cole, who were acting as coaches for either side. The match was organised by the Irish FA at Crusader FC’s Seaview ground and was treated like a professional match in that it was filmed by six cameras and presented by Rio Ferdinand, Eni Aluko and Jake Humphrey, with Darren Fletcher and Steve McManaman in the commentary booth.

“My work, both on and off the pitch, has taught me that there is no hiding place from social media abuse,” the England and Manchester United FC legend Rio Ferdinand, who is now a BT pundit, explained. “Passions run high during big football tournaments and having seen first-hand the devastating effect that can result from online hate , it is more important than ever that sport unites to combat it.”

“Young people are all too often victims of hate messages and harassment on social media and it is our duty to defend them,” said Urs Kluser, general secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children. “Thanks to the BT Tech Tips to beat online hate, young people can access real tools that teach them how to detect and respond to abuse but also learn to be more conscious about their own action online and to lead by example.”


About Hope United campaign

Launched ahead of UEFA EURO 2020 by BT and diverse team of male and female players from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, driven by their own experience of online hate. BT's purpose is to Connect for Good and change attitudes. The BT Hope United website content provides digital skills to tackle hate online. Football values are used to promote team spirit, respect of their peers and learn who to live together.

For more information, visit:



“My work, both on and off the pitch, has taught me that there is no hiding place from social media abuse,” the England and Manchester United FC legend Rio Ferdinand, who is now a BT pundit, explained. “Passions run high during big football tournaments and having seen first-hand the devastating effect that can result from online hate , it is more important than ever that sport unites to combat it.”

- Rio Ferdinand, England and Manchester United FC legend.

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Sport without Stereotypes (SWOST)

Sport without Stereotypes (SWOST)

The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting SWOST, an Erasmus+ project aimed at transforming mindsets at all levels of European sport by increasing awareness of gender stereotyping and discrimination.

To achieve its goal, SWOST is developing a range digital resources including a self-assessment tool and guidance for sports clubs and associations, to help them improve their gender-based behaviour, regulations and policies. 

The SWOST project is a broad collaborative effort, involving 11 organisations from 9 countries. Together their objectives are to:

  • Promote and increase male and female participation in sports typically considered to be for a particular gender, with a specific focus on younger people.
  • Empower and equip youngsters, by raising awareness of and uprooting gender stereotypes that may influence them and their families when choosing the sports they participate in.
  • Share experiences and highlight successes and best practice in the field of gender mainstreaming.
  • Create an online self-assessment tool to guide sports clubs and associations and direct users to a customised selection of other tools, good practices and resources from other countries or sectors, also to support those organisations’ networking and capacity building.
  • Monitor and improve the latest gender policies used by European sports associations and other SWOST beneficiaries.
  • Raise awareness of the homophobia and gender-based violence experienced in sports clubs.


SWOST project coordinator:

SWOST project partners:






The European Commission's support for the production of this article does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.



Visa donates another €50,000 to UEFA Foundation-backed charity

Visa donates another €50,000 to UEFA Foundation-backed charity

Visa Player of the Match winner from the UEFA Women´s Champions League final 2021, Aitana Bonmatí chooses a project for refugee children.

The Player of the Match Award, which has been presented by Visa since 2019, celebrates individual excellence in women’s football. In honour of the award, Visa gives a €50,000 donation to a charity chosen by the winner.

For the second year in a row, Visa donated its Player of the Match prize to the UEFA Foundation for Children, allowing the winner to choose a cause close to her convictions. Aitana Bonmatí decided to support the Movement on the Ground, an organisation that runs sports programmes for refugee children on Lesbos.

Bonmatí presented the €50,000 award to a project that promotes gender equality and social inclusion for refugee children on the Greek island delivered by Movement on the Ground with support from the Barça Foundation and UEFA Foundation for Children.

Aitana Bonmatí, who is an ambassador for the Barça Foundation, said: "I hope this donation helps girls improve their situation and their emotional well-being through sport. It has been very interesting to learn first-hand about the situation on Lesbos and the excellent work that is being carried out."

Adil Izemrane, co-founder of the Movement on the Ground, thanked Visa and Aitana Bonmatí for the donation, which he said: "will enable many more refugee girls to have a safe place to play sports and forget, for a few hours a week, about their hardships in Europe’s largest refugee camp."


Movement on The Ground

Movement on the Ground is a non-governmental organization with core programming on Greek islands. It meets unmet needs during humanitarian crises and provides logistical, financial and service delivery assistance with the aim of improving the dignity of refugee populations. Since 2016, Movement on the Ground has delivered sports programs with refugee children and youth arriving on the island of Lesbos, including the delivery of a Football3 project funded by UEFA Foundation for Children in 2016 and the Barça Foundation's FutbolNet methodology since 2017. Link to the project


Barça Foundation and UEFA Foundation for Children

Since 2016, UEFA Foundation for Children and Barça Foundation have collaborated to provide sports activities for refugee children on the island of Lesbos in Greece. The activities take place in the new RIC refugee camp, after the old camp burned down last September.


More than 82 million displaced people worldwide

There are currently 82.4 million displaced people worldwide, more than 26.4 million of whom have fled to other countries, according to the latest data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Half of these refugees are children who have been forced from their homes because of conflict, violence and persecution. In this difficult context, children and young people are particularly vulnerable and often experience a lack of protection and violations of their rights.

I hope this donation helps girls improve their situation and their emotional well-being through sport. It has been very interesting to learn first-hand about the situation on Lesbos and the excellent work that is being carried out.

- Aitana Bonmatí, football midfielder playing for Barcelona

Chelsea FC v FC Barcelona - UEFA Women's Champions League Final 2021
Chelsea FC v FC Barcelona - UEFA Women's Champions League Final 2021

About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit: and @Visa_Fr.

UEFA Foundation for Children partners with Catawiki for football collectibles

UEFA Foundation for Children partners with Catawiki for football collectibles

Auction platform provides the opportunity to bid on football memorabilia.

After a year away from football championships, this summer promises to be different, with football fans already feasting on the current UEFA EURO 2020. during the summer, Catawiki will hold a series of unique auctions to enable them to keep a souvenir of various football events.

If you are looking for Müller’s jersey from the 2019/20 Champions League season or red cards issued during the current UEFA EURO 2020, Catawiki will be the place to go. On top of that, all the proceeds will go towards the foundation’s projects.

Cyril Pellevat, head of administration at the UEFA Foundation for Children, said: “The UEFA Foundation for Children is pleased to digitise its fundraising activities by partnering with Catawiki. Fans around the world will have the chance to bid for limited-edition items, including shirts and footballs from the 2020/21 Champions League and Europa League. The profits will finance projects to help children in Europe and around the world.”

Frank Pon, collectibles general manager at Catawiki, said: “We’re extremely excited about these one-of-a-kind partnership auctions. They are not only a significant vote of confidence in Catawiki, but enable us to offer our users the best of the best, while helping good causes around the world. With 10 million unique visitors per month in over 60 countries, I’m confident these collectibles will sell like hot cakes.”

The auctions will operate from 9 to 18 July, with signed jerseys, match balls, shoes from the 2020/21 Champions League and Europa League, and much more.

A second window will auction items from UEFA EURO 2020 items.

Access to the portal:

We’re extremely excited about these one-of-a-kind partnership auctions. They are not only a significant vote of confidence in Catawiki, but enable us to offer our users the best of the best, while helping good causes around the world. With 10 million unique visitors per month in over 60 countries, I’m confident these collectibles will sell like hot cakes.

- Frank Pon, collectibles general manager at Catawiki


About Catawiki

Catawiki is a leading global marketplace offering hundreds of expert-curated auctions per week across multiple categories, including collectibles, art, design, jewellery, watches, classic cars, and more. Founded in 2008 with a vision to connect people with their passions, Catawiki provides an exciting and seamless experience for buying and selling special, hard-to-find objects. Over 65,000 objects are put into auction each week, and Catawiki has operations in 60+ countries. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Catawiki has +600 employees serving millions of customers around the world, including 240+ experts who curate the auctions. For more information, visit or download the Catawiki mobile app.

Call for projects 2021

Call for projects 2021

On 28 June 2021, the UEFA Foundation for Children launches its call for projects which seek to promote children's fundamental rights across the world.

This call for projects is aimed at any organisation that shares the values of the UEFA foundation and proposes practical measures to help children, in the areas of access to sport, health, education, employment, personal development and supporting vulnerable children.

Applications are invited from organisations anywhere in the world. Support is not limited to projects within Europe.


Eligibility criteria

The UEFA Foundation for Children will examine and evaluate each project.

The final decision on the selection of projects will be taken by the board of trustees in accordance with the foundation’s statutes and ethics code.

Specific conditions relating to funding are provided in the project criteria_Call 2021.


Apply now

To submit your project, click here. The application deadline is 15 August 2021 midnight.

Candidates will be notified of the progress of their application by the end of 2021.




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About PepsiCo

Project partner

Lay's Replay

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

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


About streetfootballworld

Project Partner

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

For more information, visit

Playing Football for Unity during UEFA EURO 2020

Playing Football for Unity during UEFA EURO 2020

Khalida Popal, a former member of the Afghanistan national women’s team, shares the story of how she fled her home country, experienced the healing power of football, and is now using the beautiful game with FC Nordsjælland to empower young people from different backgrounds through the Football for Unity project.

I grew up with the passion for football

I started playing street football with my brothers when I was a child. I grew up in a warzone in Afghanistan, then when I was nine years old I became a refugee. Until I was a teenager, I lived in a refugee centre in Pakistan, because of the war, and the only thing that could motivate me – keep me together – was sport, especially football.

When I returned to Afghanistan, even though I was already a grown-up, I still acted more like a teenager, and still played football with my brothers on the street, because football is the most popular game in my country.

At that time, people tried to stop me playing football. I was a grown-up woman and so they tried to separate me from my team because it was a boys’ team and, at that time, we didn’t have a girls’ team. People were telling me that I belonged in the kitchen, I belonged at home, and I existed to serve a man and make a man happy. Every time they said ‘no’ to me playing football, I said that I would prove to them that I could do it. Every time I played football, the minute that the ball started rolling, I began to feel happy and disconnected from all the challenges I had faced as a refugee, as a child, or the problems women face in society.

When I was no longer allowed to play football on the street with my brothers, I was determined not to give up, but bring the passion and love that I felt to all the women and the girls my age, so they could also experience it.

Founder of the first first national women’s football team in Afghanistan

Then, at school I started a campaign that spread to different schools, and then went all the way to creating a kind of school league. That’s how we started getting more involvement from the federation, and pushing the federation to recognise our league and establish the first national women’s football team in Afghanistan.

Every time I was pushed down, I got back up and said: “I’m not giving up”, and I was sure I could do it and could do it better. That drove me to set up Afghanistan’s first national women’s team, develop women’s grassroots football in the country, be the very first woman to work at the Afghanistan Football Federation, becoming its first female director and its youngest board member.

Football actually taught me a certain type of activism: how I could use the game as a way to own my narrative but also to help other women in my country to own theirs. That’s how the I started out as an activist, thanks to football, and I’m grateful to the sport that helped me to do it naturally. My activism put me in great danger in my country, so I had to leave. It was not only because of the most religious or extremist people, but also those who were simply afraid of losing power to women. That was a lot of pressure, and I wanted to make a bigger impact and a bigger change, so I chose to leave.

The challenges of being a refugee

When I made it to Norway, my experience of refugee life was different, because I was now grown-up. The first time, I had been a child and I didn’t feel it that deeply. Living in a refugee centre in Norway, I felt so much pressure on women, the lack of social activities, the lack of interest in women and girls. Then I moved to Denmark, and there I again lived in a centre. At that time, I was suffering from depression and trauma. It’s tough living in a refugee centre, leaving your family and everything behind you. It was a tough decision to make. No matter how strong I was at that time, I felt broken, and I cried night and day. Then I witnessed so many refugee women going through depression and stress, and some of them even tried to end their lives. It was so sad. I told myself, ‘I don’t want to sit here and cry’. No matter what happens to me, I don’t want to give up on my mission to empower women and girls. I want to use sport to unite people, women in particular, and help them to be powerful and strong so that they can get through their difficult situation.

I remember feeling that life in a refugee centre was like having no identity – you’re no one. You’re not a member of society, even if you’re in a very well-developed country. You’re just no one. You don’t have anything and there aren’t so many activities to keep you busy. There are a lot of restrictions and you have an uncertain future: You don’t know what is waiting for you. Living in a refugee centre, it felt like I was like a doll hanging in the air: I couldn’t land on my feet, I couldn’t fly in the sky; I was just left hanging, and I didn’t know what to do.

Then I said to myself, ‘I have to pull myself together and also help others.’ So, once again I have to use the power of sport that helped me get through tough situations in my country. So, I started getting women and girls living in the same centre involved. I knocked on doors and said, ‘Come on outside, we’re going for a run, then we’ll play some football and then we’ll do some dancing.’

I created my own organisation "Girl Power"

Once I got permission to stay in Denmark – I was still in the refugee centre but I was playing in a football club – I decided to set up my own organisation, Girl Power, whose main focus is empowering women – refugees, immigrants or ethnic minorities – to gain an informal education. Girl Power is more about empowering and supporting girls and women, and building bridges between the local population and the refugee community, in an organisation where like-minded people meet up, share their stories and experiences, and network. Girl Power organises sports activities in the refugee centres, where the young leaders, all women from a variety of cultural backgrounds, coach the refugees, and then we offer them education, or leadership academies.

Football for Unity project

Then I started working with FC Nordsjælland, club with women's and men's football, where my main responsibility is community projects and women's football. I’m very proud and happy this year to be working with streetfootballworld and the UEFA Foundation for Children through the Football for Unity project that supports this vision and mission, by connecting the various stakeholders and different organisations, in one joint project. That is the power of football – bringing unity.

I’m thrilled to be leading a project that focuses on youth empowerment. It involves young people who we call ‘community champions’, from all sorts of cultural backgrounds. We have Danes and people from different ethnic minorities, boys and girls together. And it’s done through a leadership programme made up of various educational workshops that are like youth discussion forums. We talk about inclusion, integration, the effect of sport on young people's lives, and also the impact of sport and unity on society. It's fantastic, and football is all part of those activities.

We need to bring people together to support each other, because it’s not refugees that are the problem. If I’m living in Denmark with refugee status right now, it was not by choice. I didn't just say: ‘Let's go and have some fun being a refugee.’ Nobody wants to leave their country, their dreams, their family, their heritage and everything they belong to. But there are situations that force people to become refugees. It's not the refugees' problem – it's the world's problem. And it's our collective responsibility to take care of each other, because there are refugees from wars, but also refugees from environmental crises. And there will be many, many more.

So, how can we have a socially responsible world where everyone is nice to each other, we take care of each other and everybody supports each other?

Like in football. When you walk onto the pitch, it doesn't matter how rich or poor you are, how white or how black you are, or how brown you are, you play the same game. All that matters are the team and the goals. That's why football is a good lesson for everybody all around the world. You just need to think about the pitch, the team and the purpose, to just have a wonderful world together, where people accept each other, respect each other, and are role models to each other too.

That's how we do it in the Football for Unity project. The best thing is that it’s not a refugee project; it’s a unity project involving not only people currently living in refugee centres, but also second-generation immigrants, born and raised in Denmark, and youngsters whose both parents are Danish. So, it’s like a common ground where they all come together under one umbrella. I really love the idea of not just focusing on one group, but adopting more of a ‘let’s do something together; let’s bring people from different backgrounds together’ approach. The main aim is, of course, to support and empower young people. One of the challenges in Danish society is that refugees get a lot of negative press, such as: ‘Refugees are coming to take our social benefits. They take our money. They take our jobs.’ But this sort of project helps to connect people by sharing their stories: ‘Why am I here? Why am I in Denmark? I’m a refugee and what is that like?’

Refugees need role models

That’s part of why I give back. When I run this project and also, for example, lead some of the workshops, refugees and non-refugees see me as a role model. The refugees see me and say, ‘Oh, she can do that, so I could do it too.’ Then non-refugees see me and say, ‘She’s not living here for free; she’s not coming here to take our money; she’s actually giving back to society. She needed protection, but she’s also earning a living and paying tax. So she’s contributing to society.’I think it’s very important for the next generation to have role models to empower youngsters from all cultural backgrounds, so they can say, ‘Okay, I can do this. I can be part of it.’ And it will also help change the mindset in society to one of, ‘Yes, refugees come, but they’re not here for the money; they also contribute to society. Their lives were in danger, or there were facing certain social or political problems.’ So, that’s why we need a lot of role models in Europe, especially.

My wish for this EURO

If the pandemic has taught everybody a lesson, it is how difficult it is to be isolated, miss our loved ones, not have access to the things we want, be deprived of the freedom we want. So, I really hope that during this UEFA EURO 2020, people will feel more respect, acceptance, and just enjoy the unity and inclusion and fun of the game.


Football for Unity is a project co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. For more information, please click here.


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UEFA Foundation for Children activities during UEFA EURO 2020

UEFA Foundation for Children activities during UEFA EURO 2020

In light of the positive impact of the social projects run by the UEFA Foundation for Children and its partners during UEFA EURO 2016, the foundation will oversee all charitable projects associated with this year’s tournament.

The UEFA Foundation for Children reflects UEFA’s desire to play a more active role in broader society and use football and its popularity to create a better world. Established in 2015, the foundation is a charitable organisation governed by Swiss law. It defends the rights of underprivileged children and helps them to have better lives, develop their potential and find their place in the community, all through the beautiful game. Since 2015, it has invested in a total of 318 projects in 116 different countries, for the benefit of more than 1.1 million children. Currently, 168 projects around the world are supported by foundation funding.


The UEFA Foundation for Children seeks to uphold the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Its main priorities are: (i) support children’s health, especially children with disabilities; (ii) help improve the living conditions of young refugees; (iii) promote children’s access to sport; (iv) help children thrive by encouraging their personal development; and (v) provide material support for sport and education. In addition to those priorities, the UEFA Foundation for Children has recently added an extra focus on employability, to support young people in their social and professional integration through sport.


  1. Children’s Smiles

Location: Stadiums in Copenhagen and Saint Petersburg


Copenhagen: 12/06 – 17/06 – 21/06 – 28/06

Saint Petersburg: 12/06 – 16/06 – 21/06

The foundation will use the power and excitement of this pan-European football tournament to make a positive impact on the lives of children, especially those living in precarious situations in the host cities. This programme aims to give 8–16 year-olds in disadvantaged communities and 8–21 year-olds living with disabilities the opportunity to attend a EURO 2020 match and feel part of the event.


  1. Player mascot programme

Location: Stadiums in Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and Seville

Matches: #2 to #48 – a EURO 2020 official sponsor – will give underprivileged children in host cities the opportunity to be player mascots, picking the lucky youngsters with the foundation’s help to take part in the matchday pitch activities. The opening match, semi-finals and finals will be included in this programme as well as the venues in Baku and Saint Petersburg.

  1. Interactive Robot 2020

Location: Stadiums in Budapest, Munich and Seville


Budapest: 16-9/06 – 23/06

Seville: 14/06 – 19/06 – 23/06

Munich: 15/06 – 19/06 – 23/06

The UEFA Foundation for Children is working with the Eric Abidal Foundation to enable hospitalised children to share in the EURO 2020 experience, by using a remote-controlled robot to connect with the stadium from their hospital bed before the match. They will experience the pre-match atmosphere behind the scenes and be able to interact with players in their favourite team.


  1. Football for Unity festivals 2020

Location: Football villages in Amsterdam, Budapest, Copenhagen, London, Munich and Rome

Supported by the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), these festivals will use the tournament’s unique multi-country structure to host seven events that share European best social inclusion practices with the rest of the world through football. They will bring disadvantaged European youngsters together, with a focus on foreign nationals and refugee/migrant women.

Festivals accessible to media and public:

Venue Dates / Times Activities
UEFA Football Village Budapest
Heroes Square and City Park Ice Rink
Saturday, 19 June
9:00 – 13:00
Fair Play Football Gala (tournament)
Fulvio Bernardini Sport Center– Rome
Via dell'Acqua Marcia, 51 - 00158Roma
Saturday, 19 June
15:00 – 20:00
football for inclusion tournament, youth forum/workshop
UEFA Football Village – Copenhagen
Ofelia Plads
Friday, 25 June
15:00 – 19:00
football for inclusion tournament, youth forum/workshop
A.V.V. Zeeburgia
Kruislaan 244, 1098 SM, Amsterdam
Saturday, 3 July
13:00 – 18:00
football for inclusion tournament, impactful side events and integration activities
Black Prince Trust
Saturday, 10 July
10:00 – 18:00
Football tournament, mural painting, skill zones, youth forum/ workshops


Football for Employability

Location: Puskás Ferenc Stadium in Budapest

This project is supported by FedEx – an official sponsor of EURO 2020.

Football helps young adults who are struggling to enter the job market, involving them in vocational training, personal development programmes and educational activities to improve their job-seeking skills. Beneficiaries of this programme will join the EURO 2020 volunteer programme.


  1. Second Life

Location: All venues

At the end of EURO 2020, local charities working with underprivileged children will be given surplus materials from the tournament, which will benefit those children and leave a positive legacy.


  1. UEFA Foundation for Children photo exhibition

Location: HQ Hotel – London

Date:              5 – 10 July

The UEFA Foundation for Children will stage a photo exhibition promoting children’s rights, raising awareness of the living conditions of disadvantaged children around the world and showing how football can have a positive impact on their lives.


  1. Foundation partners

A Ball For All project by Youthorama: awareness of blind football

Location: Football Village Budapest

Date: 21 June, 12:00 – 16:00

Activity: Experiential safe fun activities for everyone.

Date: 22 June, 15:00 – 19:00

Activity Blindfolded penalty shoot-out with the participation of the Hungarian blind football academy and a group of young Greek volunteers.

Date: 23 June, 15:00 – 16:00

Activities with famous sports athletes/role models and interview opportunities

750 free special mini footballs with the project logos will be distributed to all children with a visual impairment at kindergarten or elementary school throughout the country.




Location: Football Village Rome (Booth name is "KIDS")

Date: 11 June to 11 July

Activities - Social Kick Up Challenge/ Tic Tac Toe/  Mini Football

Location: Football Village London (City Hall)

Date: 19 June to 11 July

Activities - Social Kick Up Challenge/ Tic Tac Toe/ TeqBall/ Mini Football/ Euro Quiz

Location: Football Village London (Trafalgar Square)

Date: 10 July

Activity: A session to discuss about the ELEVEN - Philanthropic Documentary , screening the trailer and discussing about the values of sport.

Location: Football Village Copenhagen

Date: 27th June

Activity: Julie, who is from Copenhagen and the Danish representative in the ELEVEN - Philanthropic Documentary, will participate at a panel with current female national team players to discuss about youth, education, travel and of course football.

The trailer of the ELEVEN - Philanthropic Documentary is screened in all the Football Villages that the EURO2020 takes place.



How can broadcasters get involved?

Football has the power to change children’s lives for the better. By covering the UEFA Foundation for Children’s activities, you will be helping to send meaningful messages of dignity, inclusion and hope to a worldwide audience of millions.

Additional information, such as on media events or interview opportunities, will be published in due course.


More about the UEFA Foundation for Children

Contact person: Tania Baima





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2021 UEFA Foundation for Children awards announcement

2021 UEFA Foundation for Children awards announcement

19 organisations rewarded for their daily support of vulnerable children

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

Appointment of a new ambassador

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

2021 award winners

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

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

List of 2021 Foundation for Children award winners:

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

Call for projects 2021

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


Eugénie Le Sommer supports the UEFA Foundation for Children

Eugénie Le Sommer supports the UEFA Foundation for Children

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

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

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

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

Meaningful impact

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

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


Commitment to children’s education

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

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

Supporting girls

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

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

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

Greater visibility for women’s football

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

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

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

Football combats all forms of discrimination

Football combats all forms of discrimination

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Additional information on the Football for Unity project.





Project partner

A second life for UEFA Europa League centre circle

A second life for UEFA Europa League centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Kids form Fair Play Program


Kids from Amp Futbol Polska

About Hankook Tire

Project partner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About FedEx Express


Project partner

FedEx - Purple_Orange

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

About FedEx Corp.

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

The UEFA Foundation for Children and KeeeX win WSIS Prize 2021

The UEFA Foundation for Children and KeeeX win WSIS Prize 2021

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes are an international contest created to reward new technologies that support sustainable development.

Of the 1,270 projects submitted in 2021, 360 were shortlisted as finalists for an online vote.

We are proud to announce that our project ‘Remote monitoring of funding using a blockchain trusted technology’, organised in collaboration with the UEFA Foundation for Children, was voted one of the top 5 projects in our category.

Thank you to all who voted and helped us to get this far. Special thanks also to the UEFA Foundation for Children, for having such confidence in us right from the start this collaboration, which has turned out to be a wonderful joint adventure.


Consult the full list of champion projects here