Every child is a champion – the sole reason to read the 2020/21 UEFA Foundation for Children Activity Report | Inside UEFA

The COVID-19 pandemic that introduced the 2019/20 season to a halt continued to overshadow us in 2020/21. The repercussions reverberated by way of all our communities and impacted everybody in soccer.

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president

“The world of football has rallied more than ever in support of the communities in which it is rooted. The commitment shown by national associations, clubs at all levels of the game, players and commercial partners, individually and collectively, has never been so great.

“The actions performed or supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children all show the human and sociocultural dimension of our stunning sport. They spotlight soccer’s most optimistic values, particularly respect and social cohesion.”

Every child has a voice

To give more young people a voice, the UEFA Foundation regularly asked children involved in its projects to share stories about their day-to-day lives, their interests and their dreams. Their stories provide the most compelling evidence yet of the importance of football and the impact these projects have on the daily lives of many thousands of children.

UEFA Foundation for Children projects

Projects financed by the UEFA Foundation are underpinned by the need to protect children from all forms of discrimination. The projects tackle issues and focal points that also help to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a call to action for all countries working in a global partnership to reduce inequalities in the world. All the UEFA Foundation projects focus on areas including gender equality, personal development, protection of victim of conflicts, access to employment, infrastructure, medical care and the environment.

During 2020/ 21 there were 62 UEFA Foundation for Children projects ongoing in Europe and 59 projects outside of Europe. The number of beneficiaries since the Foundation started in 2015 has reached a staggering 1.8 million.

Ivan Rakitić and Eugénie Le Sommer take ambassadorial roles

In keeping with its strategy of partnering with popular public figures in the world of football, the UEFA Foundation for Children board appointed Ivan Rakitić and Eugénie Le Sommer as their first official ambassadors. Both players have exemplary European football playing careers and are actively committed to various social causes.

Ivan Rakitić, Sevilla FC midfielder

“I’m actually joyful about it – the actual fact I’m a father of two women signifies that I do know and perceive how necessary it’s to see that smile on kids’s faces.”

Having come on board in February 2021, Rakitić attended a videoconference with female coaches to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, and he personally greeted the player mascots and ball kids at the EURO 2020 match between Portugal and Belgium in Seville.

Eugénie Le Sommer, Olympique Lyonnais forward

“I wish to share the pleasure of taking part in and my ardour for soccer by serving to those that want it in any method attainable. Sometimes, the smallest particulars can change lives.”

UEFA competitions

The UEFA Foundation for Children amplified their attain by operating activations at UEFA’s main competitions.

Making reminiscences on the UEFA Champions League

In the midst of the pandemic, the ultimate phases of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, from the quarter-finals onwards, have been held within the type of a mini-tournament in Portugal from 19 to 23 August. To proceed making goals come true for youngsters affected by critical sicknesses, Mastercard, a UEFA Champions League companion, and the UEFA Foundation for Children gave children the chance of a lifetime to satisfy a few of the gamers just about.

Ruby and Annika have been invited behind the scenes on the match between RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain and welcomed the gamers as they arrived on the stadium. Ten-year-old Ruby, a soccer fanatic from the northeast of England, was present process chemotherapy on the time, whereas 11-year-old Annika was receiving therapy at a most cancers clinic in Frankfurt.

Ten-year-old Ruby, a soccer fanatic from the northeast of England

“Wow! I will remember this day for the rest of my life! Thank you! After the doctor only recently told me that I might not play football ever again, this lifted my spirits so much! I will never forget this day.”

Children’s artwork adorns match ball on the UEFA Super Cup in Budapest

Although kids have been unable to set foot on the pitch on the Puskás Aréna in Budapest on 24 September 2020, 18 kids collaborating in Foundation tasks took centre stage on matchday, with their drawings featured within the design of the official match ball. Their designs have been chosen from over 200 entries by the UEFA president, Aleksander Čeferin.

A dream got here true for Iranian refugee, Hanya

The UEFA Super Cup was additionally a possibility to make Hanya’s dream come true. Originally from Iran, the 20-year-old newbie footballer had by no means set foot inside a stadium earlier than, as a result of she was a lady. The UEFA Foundation for Children and its companion organisation in Budapest, Oltalom, secured her a ticket for the match.

Hanya, 20 yr previous Iranian refugee

“It showed me that you don’t have to be a man to enjoy a football match. I really hope that women in Iran and Iraq can watch and play football more freely; right now, they need to be hidden when they play – they cannot even play in a public place, which is very sad.”

UEFA EURO 2020: Hope and pleasure

Things might not have gone as initially deliberate due to the pandemic, however the UEFA Foundation for Children nonetheless shared the fun of the EURO with children throughout the continent.

Thanks to the Abidal Foundation, the host cities and event sponsors, 1,820 kids noticed their goals come true as they got a novel expertise contained in the stadiums throughout EURO 2020.

In cooperation with the Abidal Foundation and Awabot, we equipped the stadiums in Budapest, Munich and Seville with a remote-controlled robotic linked to a console. Young soccer followers in hospital with long-term sicknesses or in convalescence houses have been in a position to management the robotic from the place they have been staying to expertise the pre-match environment and work together with their favorite gamers.

EURO 2020 helped the Foundation draw consideration to areas corresponding to social cohesion, integration of minorities and folks with disabilities, and solidarity. This uniquely pan-European occasion enabled many basis companions to advertise their actions and contain their beneficiaries in a collective celebration of soccer.


A spread of sponsors helped the UEFA Foundation ship lasting reminiscences for youngsters internationally.

For two consecutive seasons, Visa, donated €50,000 to the UEFA Foundation for Children on behalf of the participant of the match on the UEFA Women’s Champions League last.

UEFA Champions League companion Gazprom sponsored a soccer pitch for the good thing about 1,000 kids. The pitch was constructed on the Bora Radić major faculty in Bavanište, a village about 40km east of Belgrade.

Lay’s, a UEFA Champions League sponsor, has launched a world initiative, Lay’s RePlay, which goals to convey pleasure to communities world wide by way of the ability of soccer by reusing empty crisp packets to assist create sustainable soccer pitches. In doing so, it hopes to unite communities and drive optimistic outcomes for individuals and the planet.

A Lays pitch made from reused crips packets.

A Lays pitch produced from reused crips packets.

Kia, a UEFA Europa League sponsor, has renewed its help for youngsters within the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. In three seasons, the Kia-backed marketing campaign has donated 3,000 pairs of soccer boots to kids within the camp

In spring 2020 and 2021, H&M launched an initiative geared toward encouraging kids to remain lively by selling entry to sport for all. To help younger gamers world wide and maintain them lively, H&M donated to the UEFA Foundation for Children a few of the proceeds from the sale of a particular soccer shirt assortment for youngsters over two, two-week durations. Their donation helped finance emergency motion linked to COVID-19, such because the distribution of meals and different necessities, well being merchandise and medical help by 13 of our different companions.

For the second consecutive yr, adidas agreed to donate 700 packs containing balls and all the opposite tools wanted to organise a coaching session, to help UEFA Foundation for Children tasks everywhere in the world.

FedEx supported EURO 2020 by transporting supplies between the stadiums and our companions within the host cities, native soccer golf equipment, faculties and youngsters’s charities. In whole, nearly 15 tonnes of supplies have been reused.

UEFA Foundation for Children 2020/21 Activity Report

To learn the report in full and watch movies showcasing the UEFA Foundation for Children’s tasks, click on here.

Using soccer to vary kids’s lives since 2015

  • 333 tasks organised/funded
  • 106 UEFA Foundation for Children awards
  • 119 international locations reached globally
  • 1.8 million kids receiving assist
  • 26,922 kids given the possibility to go to a match
  • 64 stadiums constructed or renovated

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