When, how and by whom was the UEFA Foundation for Children established?

On 26 March 2014, at the 38th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Astana, the UEFA President, Michel Platini, stressed UEFA’s desire to enable more people to benefit from football’s role in society. With the support of the UEFA Executive Committee and the approval of UEFA’s member associations, he announced the creation of the UEFA Foundation for Children, declaring:

This foundation will help us […] to preserve the magic of football and give hope to those children who need it most. This is a great project […] and a cause that is particularly close to my heart.

The UEFA Foundation for Children was established in 2015.

What is the legal status of the UEFA Foundation for Children and how is it organised?

The UEFA Foundation for Children was set up in early 2015 on the initiative of UEFA. The foundation is registered in Nyon (Switzerland) as a non-profit organisation and is governed by Swiss law.

It is managed by its Board of Trustees and acts in the interests of its direct beneficiaries.
The UEFA Foundation for Children is supervised by the Swiss federal supervisory board for foundations, which is attached to the general secretariat of the Swiss federal department of home affairs.

I am a private individual and I need help financing a project. Can you help me?

Unfortunately, the UEFA Foundation for Children does not provide any financial assistance or assistance in kind to private individuals. It carries out projects in specific countries in partnership with specific non-profit organisations.

What do your activities on the ground consist of?

In the case of all projects, regardless of the context (including crisis situations and development projects), the UEFA Foundation for Children works in support of specific partner organisations, placing children right at the heart of its strategy. Partner organisations are required to ensure that the beneficiaries of those projects (i.e. children and their families) gradually take responsibility for their own development.

Wherever possible, the foundation makes use of existing networks within the countries in question (local aid organisations, regional or government bodies, etc.), giving financial support to those organisations in order to help them to act. Different types of partnership are established with those organisations in order to achieve the foundation’s objectives.

Moreover, projects that are supported/financed by the foundation are subject to quality standards, which means that they are assessed and have to comply with the foundation’s Ethics Code.

How do you ensure that funds given to you are used in an appropriate manner? Can I donate money to you with complete confidence?

The foundation is committed to achieving its objectives in a manner befitting a charitable organisation.

Our objective is to help disadvantaged children. We are establishing and developing assessment mechanisms to evaluate all initiatives that are financed/supported by the foundation and ensure that they are consistent with the values set out in the foundation’s Ethics Code.

The foundation’s accounts are audited by an independent body and published on its website every year.

The UEFA Foundation for Children is also supervised by the Swiss federal supervisory board for foundations. That public body, which is responsible for the supervision of foundations on behalf of the federal government, operates at both national and international level. Its supervisory activities are essentially based on the case law of Switzerland’s Federal Supreme Court regarding Article 84(2) of the Swiss Civil Code: “The supervisory authority ensures that the foundation’s assets are used for the intended purpose.”

Who are the beneficiaries of the UEFA Foundation for Children?

The UEFA Foundation for Children seeks to help disadvantaged children – children who need help as a result of physical, mental or psychological problems, because of their social environment, or on account of a crisis situation linked to armed conflict or a natural disaster.

How does the UEFA Foundation for Children define the term ‘child’?

The UEFA Foundation for Children applies the definition set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Etymologically, the word ‘infant’ comes from the Latin ‘infans’, which denotes someone who does not speak. In Roman times, this term was used to refer to anyone under the age of seven. The concept of childhood has evolved considerably over the centuries, as well as varying across cultures, and the word ‘child’ is now used to refer to anyone who has not yet reached adulthood. However, that remains a broad concept, and the age at which people are deemed to become adults varies from culture to culture.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted in 1989, defines the term ‘child’ more precisely as:

Every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.

What is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international agreement that was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989.

It specifically stipulates that children’s rights and best interests must be respected, and it was the first legally binding international agreement to confer fundamental rights on children.

How can I request support from the UEFA Foundation for my project?

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

Therefore, UEFA Foundation launches each year a “Call for Project” through this website. The next Call will take place in June/July 2023. Find all the information on how to apply here.

How can my child apply to be a player mascot?

All of the UEFA Foundation’s mascots are local children, depending on the location, for each game, who are part of the foundation’s child support programmes.

Official competition sponsors coordinate the registration of the children. (Mastercard, Fedex, Engelberg Stauss and Just Eat Takeway.com)