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Football

Football players compete in our Middle East-North Africa region, where football is an always popular pastime.

Football (Americans call it soccer) is possibly the world's most popular team sport. It's also Special Olympics' most popular sport. This page draws together football-related information for all of Special Olympics, including news, stories, calendar events and competition results.


300 x 200 football in ireland

Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics football.  View the Football Fact Sheet

Played in just about every country, the sport's success is due to the fact that it can be played by boys, girls, men and women of just about any physical build and ability. Football requires little in the way of specialized equipment and is organized using simple, intuitive rules. 

It's so fundamental to the future of Special Olympics' growth plans that it is the focus of our Global Football initiative.

Football is perfect for Special Olympics Unified Sports, in which people with and without intellectual disabilities play on the same teams. In 2010, Special Olympics held its Unity Cup in connection with the World Cup.

The coming years will see more exciting global and regional football events for Special Olympics.


Football Stories and News


abril 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

No Differences on the Playing Field

By Maria Jose Gonzalez

I love sports, specially soccer!!! When you work for the world wide leader in sports you have got to love it, but on February 6 2015 we were invited to play a unified game with the Special Olympic Athletes in Mexico and then the love I had for sports meant a whole lot more.View Story I love sports, specially soccer!!! When you work for the world wide leader in sports you have got to love it, but on February 6 2015, we were invited to play a unified game with the Special Olympic Athletes in Mexico and then the love I had for sports meant a whole lot more.I realized that in a soccer field there is only one goal and that the passion for the game is shared by ALL. There are no differences in a playing field, we are all equal and we all want to give our best. The experience while playing the unified game was one of a kind. First of all I have never played with actual members of the Mexico´s National Soccer team, come July I´ll be rooting for them hoping they come home with a gold medal. Second of all I realized that the only boundaries that I could encounter in that field were the ones that limited the side lines and goal lines. Third and last, I was able to recognize a bit of myself in all of my teammates, we all love soccer and we all love to play together.

About Maria Jose Gonzalez:I am the finance manager for ESPN Mexico
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marzo 08, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

Unified National Football Team Prepares for Special Olympics World Games

By Paola Martinelli

Seleccion Nacional

Selection of Special Olympics Unified Soccer Mexico team began with a difficult test your preparedness towards the World Games in Los Angeles.View Story Selection of Special Olympics Unified Soccer Mexico team began with a difficult test your preparedness towards the World Games in Los Angeles. Were measured in a friendly match against the team of Atlas 4th Division and fell by three goals to nil after a close game. The national representative took valuable lessons of defeat to serve as motivation to work harder in this pre-fair international. In the second half both teams generated dangerous moves, fought for possession of the ball in midfield and tried to kick a couple of times However the slight advantage was maintained until the last five minutes. It was then that with a header and a left, Atlas left the final score at 3-0.

About Paola Martinelli:Asesora Regional del Comite de Deporte Unificado
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marzo 08, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

Special Olympics Unified Football ESPN Mexico

By Paola Martinelli

ESPN OEM

Special Olympics Mexico and ESPN sports network conducted a unified football match between Special Olympics athletes and the staff of a TV Broadcasting station.View Story Special Olympics Mexico and ESPN sports network conducted a unified football match between Special Olympics athletes and the staff of a TV Broadcasting station. The sporting event that brought together nearly one hundred players, held at the Six Year Plan Sports Complex. Through work on physical activity, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is concerned with inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, and this leads to a society more welcoming and inclusive.

About Paola Martinelli: National Director of Communications and Marketing
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Football Events


Date

Event

Location

may 25 - 27 2015

2015 Special Olympics Ontario Provincial School Championships

Join us on May 25-27 in Oshawa, Ontario Canada as our athletes compete and show their skill in basketball, bocce, soccer, and track & field competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
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Oshawa, Ontario
CANADA

may 28 - 30 2015

South Dakota State Summer Games

This will be our 47th annual State Summer Games Competition. Approximately 600 athletes are expected to compete in athletics, aquatics, team soccer, individual soccer skills, powerlifting and volleyball. See you there!
For more information
More Details
Johna Thum
Email:jthum@sosd.org
Phone:605-331-4117
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South Dakota State University Campus
Brookings, South Dakota
UNITED STATES

may 29 - 31 2015

Missouri State Summer Games

Join us May 29-31 for the 2015 Missouri State Summer Games in Springfield Missouri as our athletes showcase their skills over 3 days of sports competition. Athletes will compete in aquatics, soccer, track and field, powerlifting, and volleyball. For more details about the event please refer to link and contact info below.
For more information
More Details
Susan Shaffer
Email:shaffer@somo.org
Phone:573-635-1660
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Springfield, Missouri
UNITED STATES

may 29 - 31 2015

Rhode Island State Summer Games

Join us May 29-31 at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island as over 1,500 athletes from across the state of Rhode Island compete in athletics, aquatics, cycling, bowling, motor activities training program, soccer, and powerlifting! For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Chris Hopkins
Email:chris@specialolympicsri.org
Phone:(401) 349-4900
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University of Rhode Island
45 Upper College Road

Kingston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

may 29 - 31 2015

European 7-a-side Football Tournament

For their 75th anniversary RKKSV (regular club with 3 Special Olympics soccer teams) are organizing a Special Olympics invitational 7-a-side tournament for level 3 and 4 under guidance of Special Olympics Netherlands.
For more information
More Details
Natascha Bruers
Email:N.Bruers@specialolympics.nl
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RKKSV Kruisstraat
Kruisstraat 13, 5243 RD

Rosmalen, Netherlands
NETHERLANDS

may 30 - jun 6 2015

15th Annual Special Olympics European Football week

The Special Olympics Annual European Football Week idea was initiated in the year 2000 supported by UEFA. Starting with 15 countries in 2000, currently Special Olympics European Football Week involves almost all European countries. Each country organizes a variety of football activities including large tournaments, exhibition matches during Club and Football Federation events and small local competitions hosted by communities and schools with an average participation of up to 50,000 people. During Football Week, Special Olympics footballers of all abilities showcase their skills and determination on pitches throughout the Europe Eurasia region. The aim of football week is to encourage people from all walks of life to get involved in the Special Olympics movement using the most popular sport. 2015 edition focus is on Play Unified and living a healthy lifestyle. The kick off the week will host be invitational 7-a-side Football Tournament on 29-31 May with 12 European teams in Rosmalen, The Netherlands.
For more information
More Details
Miroslaw Krogulec
Email:MKrogulec@specialolympics.org
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50 countries around Europe
POLAND

may 6 - jul 6 2015

Colorado State Summer Games

This years Summer Games will be held in Grand Junction at Colorado Mesa University. This event is the biggest Special Olympics Colorado competition of the year! The event brings together athletes from across the state to compete in five sports: athletics, aquatics, gymnastics, powerlifting and soccer.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Colorado
Email:beafan@SpecialOlympicsCO.org
Phone:720-359-3100
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Colorado Mesa University
Grand Junction, Colorado
UNITED STATES

dic 6 - jun 14 2015

Illinois State Summer Games

Summer Games is Special Olympics Illinois premiere sports competition with more than 4,000 athletes and Unified Partners competing in 6 different sports, along with 1,600 coaches, 2,500 volunteers and 3,300 family members. That totals more than 11,400 people who attend Summer Games! The Summer Games are held at Illinois State University in Normal and the Illinois Wesleyan University campus in Bloomington. A variety of activities are provided for the participants in addition to the sports competitions. Competition will be offered in athletics, aquatics, bocce, Unified bocce, gymnastics, football (soccer) and powerlifting. The public is invited and encouraged to attend any and all parts of Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games. Hope to see you there!
For more information
More Details
David Shindley
Email:dshindley@soill.org
Phone:309-888-2551
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ISU & IWU Campus
Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
UNITED STATES

dic 7 - jul 16 2015

European 7-a-side Football Tournament “Kim Kallstrom Trophy” by Gothia Cup

Fifth edition of “Kim Källström Trophy” the Special Olympics European 7-a-side football tournament to be held in Gothenburg 12th-16th of July 2015 as part of Gothia Cup. Since the start in 1975 this international youth football tournament has received teams from more than 140 nations. Over 1 million youth football players have taken part making the Gothia Cup not only the biggest but also the most international youth tournament in the world. The Kim Källström Trophy is cooperation between Gothia Cup, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia, Special Olympics Sweden and the Swedish national player Kim Källström. The main sponsor of the event is Goodsport Foundation. The Gothia Cup is a tournament where the meeting between youth people from different countries and culture are a priority. We therefore kindly ask, that teams which are interested in participating in the tournament does not have an elite focus in their organization. This is a lead to equal the level of the teams that are participating in the tournament. The fourth edition of Kim Källström Trophy was held during 2014 with a lot of positive feedback from the 30 participating teams. The participating teams represented 13 different nations around the world. For 2015 our aim is to invite more international teams and to increase the number of female teams in the tournament.
For more information
More Details
Kristina Sager and Jonatan Sandberg
Email:Kristina.sager@gothiacup.se
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Kviberg fields
Gothenburg, Gothenburg
SWEDEN

jul 24 - feb 8 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
Email:info@la2015.org
Phone:213-892-6018
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California
UNITED STATES

agosto 18, 2015

Coaches Training - Soccer

Join us on August 18th for a soccer coaches training. The venue is to be to be determined. To register please use the link below. If you have further questions please contact Zach Warner at warne1zd@cmich.edu
For more information
More Details
Zach Warner
Email:warne1zd@cmich.edu
View More


Grand Rapids, Michigan
UNITED STATES

agosto 24, 2015

Coaches Training - Soccer

Join us on August 24th for a soccer coaches training online webinar. Attendance in Mount Pleasant is not needed. To register please use the link below. If you have further questions please contact Zach Warner at warne1zd@cmich.edu
For more information
More Details
Zach Warner
Email:warne1zd@cmich.edu
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Webinar
Mount Pleasant, MIchigan
UNITED STATES

diciembre 09, 2015

Southwest Regional Soccer Tournament

Join us on September 12th at Kraft Meadows Middle School in Caledonia, Michigan. This event features athletes from across Michigan's Southwest Region competing in 5 on 5, 7 on 7 and Unified Divisions. Opening Ceremonies kick off at 8:30 am with competition to follow beginning at 9:00 am.
For more information
Nick Caudle
Email:caudl1n@cmich.edu
Phone:616-583-1202
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Kraft Meadows Middle School
9230 Kraft Ave. SE

Caledonia, Michigan
UNITED STATES

dic 9 - sep 13 2015

State Soccer and Bocce Competition

Join us September 12-13 in Grand Forks, North Dakota as our athletes compete and show their skill in soccer and bocce competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics North Dakota
Phone:701-746-0331
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Grand Forks, North Dakota
UNITED STATES

septiembre 13, 2015

Northern Region Soccer Tournament

Join us on September 13 at the Roscommon Rotary Soccer Fields in Roscommon, Michigan as our athletes compete in the all-day Soccer Tournament. Hope to see you there!
For more information
View More

Roscommon Rotary Soccer Fields
Roscommon, Michigan
UNITED STATES

septiembre 13, 2015

State Soccer and Bocce Competition

Join us September 13th in Olathe, Kansas as our athletes compete and show their skill in soccer and bocce competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Kansas
Phone:913-236-9290
View More


Olathe, Kansas
UNITED STATES

septiembre 14, 2015

Northern Maine Soccer Tourney

Join us September 14th at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle, Maine as our athletes compete and show their skill in soccer competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Maine
Phone:207-879-0489
View More

Northern Maine Community College
Presque Isle, Maine
UNITED STATES

septiembre 27, 2015

Kansas State Soccer & Bocce Tournament

Join us on September 27th at Lone Elm Park in Olathe, Kansas as our athletes compete in 5-a-side soccer, bocce singles, bocce doubles and bocce team. Cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. We hope to see you there! For more details please refer to the link and contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Tim Rehder
Email:rehdert@ksso.org
Phone:913-236-9290
View More

Lone Elm Park
21151 W 167th St

Olathe, Kansas
UNITED STATES

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Football/Soccer Competitions

2014 European Summer Games


2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.


2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.


2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.


How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

LEARN MORE»

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