Hublot donation to UEFA Foundation

Hublot, official WATCH OF THE UEFA EURO 2016, made a donation to the UEFA Foundation for Children to help children and youngsters celebrate the joy of football at the tournament.

A cheque for 20,000 Euros was presented to UEFA foundation administrator Cyril Pellevat by Hublot’s CEO Ricardo Guadalupe at the Hublot Match for Friendship at the Palais Royal in Paris on Thursday.

The funds provided by the Swiss watchmaker will help finance logistical organisation at the international streetfootballworld Festival 16, which takes place in Lyon from 28 June to 7 July. The event is sponsored by the Sport dans la Ville association in Lyon. Children and young people from all over Europe and beyond will gather to celebrate EURO 2016, with an international solidarity tournament (4-6 July) one of the highlights.

Thursday’s Hublot Match for Friendship featured teams of famous players, coached by legends Pelé and Diego Maradona. The stars who took part included David Trezeguet, Fernando Hierro, Dida, Hernán Crespo, Bebeto, Angelo Peruzzi, Antonio Ferrara and Marco Materazzi.

“The UEFA Foundation for Children thanks Hublot for its support,” said UEFA Foundation for Children secretary Pascal Torres. “Through this gesture of solidarity, Hublot is sharing in this project, enabling hundreds of disadvantaged children from more than 50 countries to be involved in the great festival that UEFA EURO 2016 represents.”

Putting smiles on faces at UEFA EURO 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lens Agglo



Marseille   or






Putting a smile back on the faces of disadvantaged children

The emotion of football is universal. The UEFA Foundation for Children is set to fulfil the lifelong dreams of several children who have serious illnesses or disabilities or are suffering the effects of major accidents by giving them the chance to watch Real Madrid CF take on Club Atlético de Madrid in the 2016 UEFA Champions League final in Milan tomorrow night.

In cooperation with charitable associations such as Étoile filante/Sternschnuppe, Rêves and Make-A-Wish, the foundation has invited four children and their families to come and experience this great annual festival of football. This rare opportunity to share in the intense joy and emotion of such a unique and momentous event will be a far cry from their everyday lives and the medical challenges they face on a daily basis.

Joseph Fontanarosa, head of communication for the Moselle branch of Rêves commented: “Today, I’m here with a boy named Teoman. He’s 15 and seriously ill. It’s really special to be able to bring him here because he absolutely loves football. I see his eyes light up more every minute with all that he is seeing and experiencing. Today he’s just a really happy child and it’s this weekend that will give him the strength to keep up the fight when he returns home.”

Mazyar Taennler, from the Zurich-based Étoile filante/Sternschnuppe, said: “I’m here today with two families and two children, Livio and Luka. Both of them have had quite a hard time, one since birth and the other as of last year. Both of them love football, so it’s very special for them to be here, having this experience and seeing how things work behind the scenes. This is a very special weekend for the children, their families, and me. We‘re all football fanatics! They are really looking forward to the final tomorrow. And to be greeted as special guests, to not have to wait in line, and to be able to take all the pictures they want, that makes the experience more special still.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children has also invited 13 children from the organisation Air Pur & Soleil (plus chaperones) to attend the match. This child welfare organisation based in Haute-Savoie takes care of children facing crises of various kinds, typically by giving them the opportunity to spend some time away from their family, school and/or institutional environment.

All of these children are enjoying an exclusive two-day programme devised specially for them, thanks to the support of a number of volunteers from UEFA.

Today, they spent some of the afternoon at the UEFA Champions Festival in the heart of Milan, having their photo taken with the trophy, visiting the Champions Gallery, watching the all-star match and meeting some of the stars in question. They then went to San Siro to watch the two teams’ official pre-match training sessions.

When they return to San Siro tomorrow night to watch the UEFA Champions League final, thereby fulfilling a lifelong ambition, it is bound to be a highly emotional occasion.

A mouth-watering appetiser ahead of UEFA EURO 2016

As a prelude to the real thing this summer, Lille and Lens will soon be put through their paces as they play host to the EURO FOOT Jeunes schools’ tournament.

Supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children and organised jointly by France’s National Union of School Sport (UNSS), the International School Sport Federation (ISF), EURO 2016 SAS and the French Football Federation (FFF), the EURO FOOT Jeunes schools’ tournament is aimed at children all over Europe. This major sporting event, which will take place between 30 May and 5 June in northern France, promises to be an enthralling and highly enjoyable experience for all concerned.

This extraordinary event, which will take place in Lens and Lille, will feature both boys’ and girls’ competitions. A total of 800 players will take part, competing for 32 teams from 25 different countries.

A number of big names from the world of football will be dropping by to show their support, including Rio Mavuba, Laura Georges, Djibril Cissé, Raphaël Varane and Lotta Schelin.

You can watch the official tournament video here: (UNSS’s Facebook account)

Match Schedule here:

Planning Eurofoot Jeunes

Highlights of the event

Monday 30 May

10.30 Opening match of girls’ competition: France v Germany

Attended by the president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie regional council and Olivier Dacourt

Stade François Blin, rue Arthur Lamendin, 62210 Avion

20.00 Opening ceremony and parade of nations

Attended by Patrick Kanner, French minister for urban affairs, youth and sport

Palacium, 2 rue Breughel, 59650 Villeneuve-d’Ascq

21.30 Concert featuring Lord Kossity and Sarahba

Palacium, 2 rue Breughel, 59650 Villeneuve-d’Ascq


Tuesday 31 May

10.30 Girls’ competition: France v Luxembourg

Attended by Djibril Cissé

La Gaillette (RC Lens’s training complex), rue Arthur Lamendin, 62210 Avion

12.30 Children meet and have lunch with French men’s team and Djibril Cissé


Thursday 2 June

11.30 Opening of the EURO FOOT Jeunes village attended by Djibril Cissé

Stadium Lille Métropole, avenue de la Châtellenie, 59650 Villeneuve-d’Ascq


Friday 3 June

16.30 Presentation ceremony for the UNSS Cup – a tournament combining virtual reality and real football for schoolchildren attending collèges in the department of Nord

Stadium Lille Métropole, avenue de la Châtellenie, 59650 Villeneuve-d’Ascq


Saturday 4 June

17.00 Diversity tournament (4 teams; 40 big names invited by the FFF)

Palais Saint Sauveur, 78 avenue du Président John F. Kennedy, 59000 Lille

19.30 Vernissage of Just Play exhibition at Lille City Hall

The UEFA Foundation for Children is taking this opportunity to showcase the Just Play programme, which uses football to foster the education and development of children on Pacific islands. This photo exhibition at Lille City Hall documenting the programme will be open to the public from 4 June.

21.00 Charity dinner in support of Orphelins de Makala (Orphans of Makala), an association set up by Rio Mavuba, and the ISF’s School Sport Foundation

Lille City Hall, place Augustin Laurent, 59000 Lille


Sunday 5 June

13.30 Final of girls’ competition

Stadium Lille Métropole, avenue de la Châtellenie, 59650 Villeneuve-d’Ascq

15.00 Private concert featuring Walshy Fire (Major Lazer), Lord Kossity and Sarahba

15.30 Final of boys’ competition

Stadium Lille Métropole, avenue de la Châtellenie, 59650 Villeneuve-d’Ascq

17.00 Presentation of medals by French internationals Mamadou Sakho, Kheira Hamraoui and Laura Georges

17.30 Closing ceremony


Media representatives wishing to attend the tournament can request an accreditation via the links below:


Contact persons for media enquiries:

Aurélie Bresson (+33 (0)6 59 54 99 17;

Kevin Paris: (+33 (0)6 72 07 11 59;

Local children to escort players at Europa League final in Basel

190 children from various community football projects in Basel are set for an extraordinary adventure.

Having already given 44 disadvantaged children from Seville and Liverpool an unforgettable experience by offering them the chance to be player escorts at the second leg of the two UEFA Europa League semi-finals, FedEx has now donated 100 match tickets for tonight’s final at St. Jakob-Park to community football projects in Basel and the surrounding area.

Among the 100 young fans, 22 children aged between seven and nine will have the privilege of walking out onto the pitch alongside the two teams as player escorts. FedEx, is the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League and has donated its entire allocation of player escort places for tonight’s final between Liverpool FC and Sevilla FC to the UEFA Foundation for Children.

The recipients of the 100 match tickets have been chosen in cooperation with streetfootballworld, a global non-profit organisation that uses football to drive social change, and its local partner, the Scort Foundation.

Children from four community football projects in the streetfootballworld network have been selected:

  • Dream Team Basel, which organises weekly football training for children and adults with disabilities;
  • SRD Young Stars, an initiative set up by Swiss club SR Delémont, which benefits 21 children with special needs between the ages of 8 and 18;
  • Basel Helps, a project set up in 2015 which organises regular activities and events to build bridges between refugees and the local community;
  • the Pestalozzi Children’s Village, which provides homes, care and education to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The UEFA Foundation for Children has also donated 90 tickets to the Swiss Football Association, which has given them to Next Sport Generation, a foundation that promotes sport for children and adolescents.

“In its first year, the UEFA Foundation for Children has benefited a large number of children in a wide range of places,” said Peter Gilliéron, a member of the foundation’s board of trustees and the Chairman of the UEFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee. “This initiative gives football the opportunity to share important values such as solidarity, integration and respect with all children, regardless of their country of origin or social background.”

More children’s dreams come true with the help of the UEFA Foundation for Children

During the second half of the season (February to April), UEFA Foundation for Children helped make the dreams of seven seriously ill football fans come true.

In cooperation with the associations Rêves in France and Sternschnuppe/ Etoile filante in Switzerland – and with the precious support of volunteers from among UEFA’s staff – these young people were given an unique opportunity to live their dreams and leave behind their problems for a short while.


Samuel’s dream: to attend a Paris Saint-Germain FC match, visit the stadium and meet the players.

Samuel watched Paris Saint-Germain beat Chelsea FC at home on 16 February in the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie. (in French)

Version 2


Marouane’s dream: to meet Eden Hazard and attend a Chelsea match.

Marouane attended the return leg of the Paris Saint-Germain v Chelsea UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie at Stamford Bridge on 9 March.,12382.html?PHPSESSID=6jk7gf3h2ejkohuea78db999a4 (in French)




Aboubakr, Amine, Naïl and Pierrick’s dreams: to attend an FC Barcelona match and meet the team.

All four watched the Azulgrana secure their place in the quarter-finals by beating Arsenal FC at home on 16 March in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

IMG_7740 (1024x852)

Aboubakr:,12330.html (in French)

Amine:,12220.html (in French)

Naïl:,12609.html (in French)

Pierrick:,12374.html (in French)



Robin’s dream: to meet Robert Lewandowski and Mario Götze and attend an FC Bayern München match.

Robin watched his idols’ beat SL Benfica at home on 5 April in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie.$ and (both in German)



UEFA foundation and FedEx open community pitch in Madrid

Carlos Marchena inaugurates a new football pitch in Cañada Real district

Children and young people from the Cañada Real district of Madrid, known as one of Spain’s most economically disadvantaged areas, now have a new safe place to play sport. The UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx, the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, have given a new football pitch to the Red Deporte y Cooperación, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation that is part of the streetfootballworld network, with the aim of using football to drive social change.

Carlos Marchena, the former Spanish international and European and world champion, took part in today’s inauguration ceremony and joined a training session, to the delight of the children present. The brand-new, fully functional pitch is environmentally sustainable and was built in less than a week. It is equipped with floodlighting and changing facilities, and its innovative and modular design has many advantages, including low running costs.

Pascal Torres, general secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children, said: “It is clear how powerful a tool football can be in uniting communities, and playing football provides an ideal opportunity for children from different backgrounds to integrate, learn and develop. We are delighted that FedEx shares our vision of extending access to football to all, and that by working together we have enabled thousands of children from this diverse community to play and grow together, safely.”

The pitch strengthens the already solid portfolio of the UEFA Foundation for Children, which has recently celebrated its first anniversary. The foundation acted as a facilitator and coordinator, while streetfootballworld, the global non-profit network, developed, managed and implemented the project.

FedEx, the world’s largest express transportation company, provided financial assistance as part of FedEx Cares, a $200m programme aimed at creating opportunities in more than 200 communities by 2020.

Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, vice-president of marketing and communications for FedEx Express Europe, said: “At FedEx, we are absolutely committed to investing socially in the markets where we operate, and this project is an excellent example from our global ‘delivering for good’ programme of how we use our resources and network to provide local communities with access to facilities that would otherwise be out of their reach.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children hopes that this marks the beginning of a sustained collaboration with FedEx.

For more information on FedEx, visit

To find out more about the work of streetfootballworld, visit

UEFA Europa League dream for local children

UEFA foundation and FedEx to create an unforgettable experience for disadvantaged children

Around 200 children from communities in England, Spain and Switzerland are being given the thrill of a lifetime thanks to the UEFA Foundation for Children, FedEx Express and streetfootballworld – the youngsters will watch the exciting climax to this season’s UEFA Europa League live, and attend the teams’ pre-match training sessions.

This is the first collaboration between a sponsor of UEFA and UEFA Children’s Foundation. The programme kicks off at tonight’s UEFA Europa League semi-final second-leg encounters, and will continue at the final at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland, on 18 May. At each match, 22 children aged between seven and nine will be living a magic moment, walking out onto the pitch alongside the players as their escorts.

FedEx, the world’s largest express transportation company, is the main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, and has donated its entire allocation of player escort places at these important matches to the UEFA Foundation for Children, with both organisations working in conjunction with streetfootballworld, the global non-profit network that uses football to drive social change.

The UEFA Foundation for Children, founded just over a year ago, aims to help children and safeguard their rights. Sport, and football in particular, can provide support in the areas of health and education, as well as promoting access to sporting activity, facilitating children’s personal development and fostering the integration of minorities.

Community football teams have been identified from semi-finalist cities Liverpool and Seville, alongside UEFA Europa League final host city Basel. The teams all work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds and use education, support and development through football to give the youngsters a better chance in life.

At the match between Liverpool FC and Villarreal CF, Street League has nominated children from disadvantaged areas of Liverpool who participate in its football-based programmes, while Red Deporte y Cooperación has nominated children from Seville who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds for the match between Sevilla FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

“The UEFA Foundation for Children is delighted to be involved in this splendid initiative,” said the chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, José Manuel Durão Barroso. “Football has an important role to play as a social force and to captivate its youngest enthusiasts. The opportunity for these children to meet top football stars, lead them onto the pitch before thousands of fans and watch the action unfold as spectators will give them not only a great sense of pride, but also an experience that will forever remain in their hearts and memories.”

“The UEFA Europa League offers us the unique ability to connect with communities across Europe,” added Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, FedEx Express’s European marketing vice-president, “and this player escort programme will deliver a truly memorable experience for children from those communities that would otherwise have been out of their reach. We are delighted to be able to give something back to fans that can genuinely make a difference to their lives, and is also a first for sponsorship in the sport.”

“We’re so excited to give this experience to some of the children we work with and thankful to the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx for delivering us the opportunity,” said Vladimir Borkovic, streetfootballworld network director and chief operating officer. “Many of the young people in our schemes come from disadvantaged backgrounds, so we try to use football to empower and inspire them to help change their lives.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children’s success belies its young age

The UEFA Foundation for Children has been up and running for a year now, so we decided it was time to catch up with its chairman, José Manuel Barroso, to ask how things are going.

A year after its launch, what is your initial assessment of the work the foundation has done? The foundation is already making a difference all over the world, for the time being with the one exception of South America. Today, thousands of children who are underprivileged or living in difficult circumstances are being supported in their daily lives by the foundation and its partners – through education and opportunities to play, among other things. That is simply priceless.

In concrete terms, what has the foundation done? First of all, we made sure to continue working on the projects that UEFA had been supporting itself. One such project is Just Play, a unique football programme in Oceania, for children aged 6 to 12, which aims to engage the community and promote healthy lifestyles. Another involves socio-educational football activities in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. At the same time, we are supporting projects as wide-ranging as a pan-European research project on autism and a partnership with the John Giles Foundation in the fields of health and social integration in the Republic of Ireland. I should also mention One Goal for Education, which is using football to promote social inclusion through big clubs in Belgium, England, Israel, the Netherlands and Scotland.

Are you planning any particular activities for UEFA EURO 2016? First, we’ve launched 20,000 Children’s Smiles, a project that will enable 20,000 disadvantaged children and accompanying adults to attend one of 43 EURO 2016 matches. Second, in cooperation with Sport dans la Ville (Sport in the City) and streetfootballworld – associations that use sport as a vehicle for social change – we are organising a solidarity tournament in Lyon, where 500 girls and boys from all over the world will come together. And finally, we will have a European schools tournament in Lens and Lille, which will bring together young people aged 18 and under, for the most part from the 30 UEFA member associations who did not qualify for EURO 2016.

Do you have any particular criteria for your partnerships? We define our action as ethical and responsible. We have chosen to be completely transparent, as the foundation’s website shows, and our partners know that everything is subject to the UN’s code of ethics, which sets out very strict rules on working with children and respecting the environment, for example.

How does UEFA support you? First of all, UEFA – which the foundation is independent from – has committed to giving us an annual grant until 2025. In addition to that, a large amount of work has been done by UEFA staff and through UEFA events and activities. This has involved the allocation of revenue to foundation projects and a desire to act responsibly by giving competition and event materials a second life. A number of projects and associations have benefited from material support in the form of bibs, balls and all sorts of other equipment. The Children’s Dreams programme, which aims to help make the football-related dreams of seriously ill children come true, would also not be possible without the direct support of UEFA.

What are the main things that the foundation will be doing in the near future? In order to develop our activities we will continue to look for new forms of financing that respect the code of ethics – and we will do this with complete transparency. And we will continue to mobilise the whole football family – clubs, associations, sponsors, etc. Because a simple ball can erase differences such as skin colour, background and religion, and because, at the end of the day, football is a fantastic tool to help people live together in harmony.

The Ideas Box comes to Senegal!

Designed by Philippe Starck, the Ideas Box is a portable toolkit that can be set up in under 20 minutes to create a 100m2 library. The Ideas Box provides an internet connection, touchpads and computers, thousands of books and educational activities, and even a cinema. In addition to its satellite internet connection, the Ideas Box provides access to a local server full of educational and interactive resources.

In May 2016, the first Ideas Box in Senegal, paid for by the UEFA Foundation for Children, will be set up by the Futur au Présent association for streetchildren in Ziguinchor. It will be used by Futur au Present as part of the work it has been doing since 2012 with streetchildren in Ziguinchor and will enable the association to multiply its impact by taking the kit to primary and secondary schools on the outskirts of the city. By organising income-generating activities, the Ideas Box can encourage local entreprise and thus ensure the sustainability of the project.

Before moving to Ziguinchor, the Ideas Box will be on display at the Maison de la Press in Dakar on 20 April, giving visitors the opportunity to discover this exciting new tool and share ideas about how it can be used to shape the library of the future in Senegal.

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Brussels Play 4 Peace initiative using sport as an instrument for peace

A UEFA Foundation for Children photo exhibition highlighting the lives of children at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan was staged in Brussels on Sunday 10 April to help mark the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

The exhibition, showing how football can play a key role in giving meaning to the refugee children’s everyday lives, was part of a sports event organised by the Brussels Play 4 Peace (BP4P) organisation and held at the Stade Roi Baudouin in the Belgian capital.

Almost 4,500 children and young adults – boys and girls aged between 8 and 20 – are involved in sport, and football in particular, at the Zaatari camp. The UEFA Foundation supplied cameras to enable the children to be creative and portray life at the camp through a lens, thereby contributing to the exhibition and promoting it beyond the borders of the camp.

Alongside the exhibition, more than 20 different sports activities were offered to visitors, and proceeds from the day are earmarked for the purchase of sports equipment for homes and hospitals for children and young people.

A minute’s silence was held in memory of the victims of the recent attacks in Brussels, and balloons in Belgium’s colours of black, yellow and red were released into the air.

BP4P promotes the playing of sport and adherence to sport’s values as an educational tool for young people, and nurtures the belief that sport is a crucial vehicle for social stability and dialogue between different political, cultural and religious communities.

The UEFA Foundation for Children reflects UEFA’s wish to play a more active role in society, and makes use of sport to support humanitarian projects linked to children’s rights in areas such as health, education and integration.

The foundation’s objective is also to help children and safeguard their rights, as well as to promote access to sporting activity, facilitating children’s personal development and fostering the integration of minorities.

UEFA Foundation for Children supports World Autism Awareness Day

World Autism Awareness Day takes place on Saturday 2 April, and the UEFA Foundation for Children is lending its support as part of a long-term project aimed at helping to improve the lives of autistic children and their families and giving them hope for the future.

As part of its activities on behalf of children across the world, the UEFA foundation allocated its annual support grant for 2015 to a project designed to improve communication and education for autistic children in Europe. The innovative project is being coordinated by the International Foundation of Applied Disability Research (FIRAH).

The slogan for the project comes from Mahatma Ghandi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” To this end, FIRAH has entered into partnerships with international and national associations for autistic children and their families, as well as educational, social and medical services. All of these partners have regular contact with autistic children to help bring happiness into their daily lives.

The FIRAH project is called Autism and New Technologies, and is being implemented for a four-year period in six European countries – Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Partners include around 30 institutions using new technologies for autistic children aged between 2 and 18, in addition to university partners and associations in the six countries.

Three pillars underpin the project:

  • Facilitating access to the latest educational material and equipment such as robots and tablets, adapted to the specific needs of autistic children and their families.
  • Training families and professionals working with autistic children so that they can help autistic children make use of new technology, with online guides and training available to families and professionals.
  • Developing applied research projects to assess the impact of new technology (robots, tablets, etc.) on the everyday lives of autistic children in order to improve the equipment and apps available. All such research projects will involve the children, their parents and professionals to deliver concrete results based on the needs and expectations of autistic children and their families.

The children, their parents and professionals will be involved in evaluating the results of the Autism and New Technologies project.

“The UEFA Foundation for Children is delighted to give its backing to this project of considerable importance,” said the chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, former European Commission president José Manuel Barroso. “Autism represents a great challenge for modern society, and I have no doubt that the deployment of new technologies in this area will bring significant results not only for FIRAH and its partners in their pioneering work, but also for autistic children and their families.

“The Autism and New Technologies project promises to be a resounding success, and the UEFA foundation is happy that football, as a powerful social force, can support these activities in accordance with its key mission to help improve children’s lives.”

UEFA EURO Trophy on tour in France

With three months to go until UEFA EURO 2016 kicks off, the Henri Delaunay Cup, which all of Europe’s greatest footballers would love to get their hands on, is setting off on a journey to meet supporters all over France.

From 1 April to 9 June, the UEFA EURO 2016 trophy tour train, decked out in the tournament colours, will take young and old on an adventure to discover the European Football Championship of today and yesterday, getting the public in the mood for this summer’s festival of football and giving them a foretaste of the activities being organised by the UEFA Foundation for Children.

The UEFA Foundationa for Children is supporting three children’s projects in connection with UEFA EURO 2016.

20,000 Children’s Smiles: the foundation is inviting 20,000 disadvantaged or vulnerable children to attend matches at UEFA EURO 2016, meaning that 2,000 children in each host city will get the chance to enjoy the unique UEFA EURO 2016 experience.

The foundation is also supporting the EURO Foot Jeunes tournament, which will take place just before UEFA EURO 2016, from 29 May to 5 June. Organised by the national union of school sport (UNSS) in Lens and Lille, it is the largest schools tournament of the year and will involve girls and boys from the 30 European countries that have not qualified for UEFA EURO 2016.

The third project being supported by the foundation is an international solidarity tournament being organised by the Sport dans la Ville association as part of streetfootballworld Festival 16. This festival will take place in the heart of Lyon from 28 June to 7 July and will bring together 500 children and young people from disadvantaged communities all over the world, who have been chosen for their desire to change the world through football.

A giant UEFA EURO 2016 ball will be aboard the trophy tour train and will be signed by local dignitaries at each of the different stops as a sign of their support children throughout the world and their right to play football. The UEFA Foundation for Children will then present the ball to Sport dans la Ville at the international solidarity tournament. Sport dans la Ville encourages the social and vocational integration of young people from underprivileged neighbourhoods in France through sport.

The trophy tour departs from Saint-Denis and will stop for the public in Paris (Gare de Lyon), Caen, Amiens, Lens, Mulhouse, Nancy, Lille, Clermont-Ferrand, Limoges, Libourne, Poitiers and Brest, before returning to Paris again (Gare Montparnasse) and then heading to Tours, Nantes, Toulouse, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice, Dijon, Saint-Etienne, Besançon, Reims, Lyon and Strasbourg, before rounding off the tour in Paris (Gare du Nord).

Draw for EURO FOOT Jeunes takes place

The draw for EURO FOOT Jeunes – the European schools tournament set to take place from 29 May to 5 June in Lens and Lille – was made on Tuesday, 29 March, in the sumptuous surroundings of the Louvre-Lens museum, in the presence of Super Victor, the official mascot of UEFA EURO 2016.

This tournament, which is supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children and organised jointly by France’s National Union of School Sport (UNSS), the International School Sport Federation (ISF), EURO 2016 SAS and the French Football Federation (FFF), will bring together almost 1,000 young footballers – both boys and girls – from a total of 45 different countries.

“The UEFA Foundation for Children is delighted and very proud to be supporting this UNSS tournament alongside EURO 2016 SAS. This is a wonderful opportunity for young footballers to play an indirect part in the senior tournament,” said Hosni Ajala, a representative of the foundation.

The draw, which was accompanied by a dance performance by local schoolchildren, was conducted by Olivier Dacourt, formerly of RC Lens and the French national side, in the presence of numerous distinguished guests, notably Jean-François Ceca, deputy mayor of Lens with responsibility for sport, Laurent Petrynka, national director of the UNSS, and Luc Johann, rector of the local education authority.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be here today, both because I played in this city for RC Lens and because I am proud to be supporting this youth football event,” Dacourt said, before conducting the draw for the girls’ and boys’ competitions with the aid of French musician Lord Kossity and Lille OSC and French international Rio Mavuba respectively (see results below).

“We want the Schools EURO 2016 to be an opportunity to strengthen the educational dimension of the UNSS on the back of this major international sporting event hosted by France,” Petrynka said in his speech at the draw.

Thus, young players from all over the world will have a unique opportunity to come to northern France and compete for this highly prestigious trophy, playing in the fantastic sports facilities made available for this tournament by LOSC Lille Métropole and RC Lens – namely Stade Pierre Mauroy, which will host six matches at EURO 2016, and La Gaillette, RC Lens’ training complex and player development centre.

The results of the draw were as follows:

Boys’ competition

Group A

Turkey (seeded)
French Overseas Team

Group B

France (seeded)

 Group C

Croatia (seeded)
Belgium Wallonia

Group D

Hungary (seeded)
Northern Ireland

Girls’ competition

Group A

Switzerland (seeded)
Turkey (seeded)
Northern Ireland

Group B

France (seeded)
Germany (seeded)
French Overseas Team

The UEFA Foundation for Children extends the reach of UEFA EURO 2016

The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting three projects organised by EURO 2016 SAS on the initiative of Michel Platini and Jacques Lambert.
These three projects will enable some 20,000 young people from France and 1,500 from elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world to get involved in this summer’s magnificent celebration of football.

20,000 children’s smiles

The UEFA Foundation for Children is offering 20,000 EURO 2016 match tickets to associations that work with vulnerable children in France, whether as a result of family problems, social exclusion, health issues or abuse. The youngsters, aged 12 to 16, will be selected from areas in or around the ten host cities.
Tickets will be available for a total of 43 games, i.e. all the group matches (except the opening match) and the round of 16. Each host city will have 2,000 tickets to distribute. The UEFA Foundation for Children is the sole point of contact for the host cities for this project, and the cities themselves are liaising with the local beneficiaries.

European schools tournament: EURO FOOT JEUNES 2016

The host cities of Lens and Lille are hosting a European schools tournament from 29 May to 5 June, just days before the opening match at UEFA EURO 2016.
This event will bring together almost 1,000 boys and girls from the countries of the 30 UEFA member associations not represented at this summer’s finals. The aim is to get all 54 UEFA member countries involved in the greatest celebration of football in Europe.

International solidarity tournament

Some 600 young people from the most disadvantaged communities in Europe and the rest of the world will take part in an international solidarity tournament as part of streetfootballworld Festival 2016, which will run from 30 June to 7 July in conjunction with Sport dans la Ville.
This international community initiative will be a sort of EURO of its own for the young people involved. It will be a celebration of football as a sport that is open to all, a fundamental principle of the game that we hold dear and defend firmly.

UEFA Foundation for Children supports Spirit of Soccer in Iraq

Football programme launched to educate children about the danger of landmines

The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting the Spirit of Soccer project in Iraq, using a programme that emphasises the power of football to educate children about the dangers of landmines and explosive remnants of war. The project includes mine risk education, raising awareness of the danger and promoting behavioural changes.

The humanitarian consequences of violence in Iraq and Syria have been catastrophic. More than 2.2 million Iraqis – half of whom are children under the age of 18 – have been displaced, and are forced to live in camps without any formal education or social structures. One day, they will return home to regions polluted by the legacy of conflict, where landmines, unexploded weapons and ammunition, and improvised explosive devices will be a constant and deadly threat.

The funding provided by the UEFA Foundation for Children will support the training of 150 new football coaches, who will be taught how to deliver mine risk education to over 25,000 Iraqi, Kurdish and Syrian children in 2016.

“Some of these children have experienced violence and trauma, often on a daily basis,” said Spirit of Soccer founder and CEO Scott Lee. “Football can do so much; whether it is giving them skills that could help them survive the war, or just giving them a reason to smile. When you play football, you live in the moment. If we can provide these children with a moment of peace, this will truly be a precious gift.”

José Manuel Durão Barroso, chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children’s board of trustees, said: “The UEFA Foundation for Children places the well-being of children at the heart of its activities, especially vulnerable children who are suffering as a result of conflict. Given the dangers posed by landmines and other legacies of such conflict, it is absolutely crucial that young people are made fully aware. We applaud and fully support the Spirit of Soccer project on this vital education initiative, and we are very happy that football is once again being deployed as a source of happiness and hope.”

Note to editors:

Spirit of Soccer is an international non-profit organisation that uses the world’s most popular sport to empower and educate young people about the dangers of landmines and unexploded weapons in areas of past or ongoing conflict: