Football

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.


300x200-Football

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


April 16, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Poland

Thank You to European Football Federations

By Maureen Rabbitt

Special recognition was also given to Polish Ekstraklasa SA and top Polish Football Club - here SO Poland Director Boguslaw Galazka presents to Jakub Szumilewicz, Exectutive Director of Legia Warsaw football club and to Marcin Animucki, Board Member of Ekstraklasa SA.

The 12th Special Olympics European Football Conference was an opportunity for Special Olympics and UEFA to recognise European Football Federations who are making real and significant efforts to expand opportunities for footballers with intellectual disabilities. The Football Association of Ireland,View Story The 12th Special Olympics European Football Conference was an opportunity for Special Olympics and UEFA to recognize European Football Federations who are making real and significant efforts to expand opportunities for footballers with intellectual disabilities. The Football Association of Ireland, The Belarus Football Federation and Icelandic Football Association all received special recognition for their efforts. Other European football federations represented at the Warsaw conference included Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Estonia, Georgia, Holland and Moldova. "At this Conference I received a lot of good and useful information about football that I never knew before" says Anatolie Cojocari, Moldova FF and Special Olympics coach. This 12th edition of the Conference focused on Safety & Injury Prevention and was attended by Special Olympics football coaches and coordinators, as well as the Federation representatives.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am Communications & Brand Director for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
Share
View less ▲

April 16, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Poland

Europe Celebrates 12th Football Conference

By Maureen Rabbitt

More than 55 Special Olympics football coordinators and coaches gathered in Warsaw, Poland last weekend to discuss and strategize on the development of football for people with intellectual disabilities.View Story More than 55 Special Olympics football coordinators and coaches gathered in Warsaw, Poland last weekend to discuss and strategize on the development of football for people with intellectual disabilities. They were joined by representatives from some of the leading football organizations in the region including: UEFA, England Football Association and Belgium Association as well as top Polish club Legia Warsaw – all strong supporters of Special Olympics. The 12th edition of the conference is dedicated to Safety and Injury Prevention to secure a better environment, as a platform for the integration of young people with intellectual disabilities.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am Communications Director for Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia.
Share
View less ▲

April 09, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Bulgaria

The 'Let's Play Together' initiative kicks off in Bulgaria

By Dr. Hristo Hristozov

The press conference at the Press Club Bulgaria in Sofia kicked off the 'Let's Play Together' initiative.

The “Let’s Play Together” initiative will bring 800 youngsters with and without intellectual disabilities together for sports activities in Bulgaria from 14-30 April. The initiative was announced 7 April in Sofia.View Story The “Let’s Play Together” initiative will bring 800 youngsters with and without intellectual disabilities together for sports activities in Bulgaria from 14-30 April. The initiative was announced 7 April in Sofia jointly with Special Olympics Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Football Union in recognition of the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sport and the ProSport Foundation are also partners of the initiative. Special Olympics athletes come from special schools, resource centers and institutions. Attending the press conference were: Dr. Hristo Hristozov, Special Olympics Bulgaria national director, managing director of the ProSport Foundation; Mr. Emil Ivanov, program sports administrator; Mr. Rumen Valkov, resident, Amateur Football League, Bulgarian Football Union; and Mr. Borislav Alexandrov, manager of the Union's Grassroots Project.

About Dr. Hristo Hristozov:Dr. Hristo Hristozov is National Director, Special Olympics Bulgaria, and Managing Director of the ProSport Foundation.
Share
View less ▲

Do You Have a Story to Share?

Got news or a great football story to share? Share with our online form.


Football Events


Date

Event

Location

April 27, 2014

East Region Soccer Jamboree

Join Special Olympics Washington Eastern Region as over 150 athletes with and without disabilities will come together at Davis High School in Yakima, Washington to compete in what is sure to be a thrilling day of soccer!
For more information
More Details
Jill Ives
Email:Jives@sowa.org
View More

Davis High School
Yakima, Washington
UNITED STATES

May 03, 2014

King County Soccer Tournament

Join Special Olympics Washington on May 3rd at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washigton at the King County Region's ultra Competitive Soccer Tournament!
For more information
More Details
Bird Folsom
Email:afolsom@sowa.org
View More

Starfire Sports Complex
6840 Fort Dent Way

Tukwila, Washington
UNITED STATES

May 16 - 17 2014

Florida State Summer Games

Special Olympics Florida’s Summer Games are the largest event on the calendar with athletes competing in athletics (track & field), bocce, cycling, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. This event is held annually at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and kicks off with an exciting Olympic-style opening ceremonies featuring the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. It concludes on Saturday night with closing ceremonies and the much anticipated victory dance.
For more information
More Details
View More

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
700 South Victory Way

Lake Buena Vista, Florida
UNITED STATES

May 22 - 24 2014

Iowa State Summer Games

Join us on May 22-24 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa as our athletes from across state compete in soccer, cycling, tennis, track and field, swimming, and developmental events. It's sure to be great time. Hope to see you there. For more information use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Michelle Haney
Email:mhaney@soiowa.org
Phone:515-986-5520
View More

Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa
UNITED STATES

May 22 - 25 2014

Texas State Summer Games

The 2014 Summer Games will be held in Arlington, May 22 - 25, 2014. Sports offered will include Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Gymnastics, Soccer and Tennis. The four-day event will also offer special events including Opening Ceremonies, Victory Dance, Athlete Village and Wellness Park. Athletics, Cycling, Soccer and Tennis will be held on the campus of the University of Texas at Arlington. Basketball will be on UTA's campus as well as at a local high school. Gymnastics will be held at Webb Elementary. For volunteer opportunities, please contact Judy Yoshimaru, Director of Volunteers, at jyoshimaru@sotx.org.
For more information
More Details
Sue Galkantas
Email:sgalkantas@sotx.org
Phone:512-491-2943
View More

University of Texas
Arlington, Texas
UNITED STATES

May 30 - Jun 1 2014

New Mexico State Summer Games

Join us for 3 days of competition at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque as athletes from around the state compete in athletics, bocce, unified soccer, Unified volleyball. Experience the power sport and cheer on our athletes. We hope to see you there. See link below for more details.
For more information
More Details
View More

University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
UNITED STATES

May 30 - Jun 1 2014

Special Olympics Washington 2014 Summer Games

Summer games is the culmination of the Summer season as nearly 2,800 Special Olympics Athletes compete over three days at the 2014 Summer Games on Joint Base Lewis McChord, May 30-June 1. Athletes participate in swimming, soccer, track & field, powerlifting and cycling, reminding us all that at Special Olympics , it's about celebrating the ability and the belief that everyone competes, everyone plays and sport's has no boundaries.
For more information
More Details
Eva Levingrub
Email:Elevingrub@sowa.org
View More

Joint Base Lewis McChord
Ft. Lewis, Washington
UNITED STATES

May 30 - Jun 1 2014

Georgia State Summer Games

More than 1,800 Special Olympics athletes, Unified Partners and coaches from around the state will descend on Emory University to compete in Aquatics, Athletics, Soccer, Badminton, Volleyball, Tennis, Gymnastics, and Table Tennis with over 600 coaches to guide them in competition. The games are free and open to the public.
For more information
More Details
View More

Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia
UNITED STATES

May 30 - Jun 1 2014

Rhode Island State Summer Games

After weeks of training and competing at Area Games, athletes from all over Rhode Island will be compete against their peers in aquatics, athletics, bowling, cycling, motor activities training program, powerlifting and unified soccer. We invite you to join us on the University of Rhode Island campus and watch our athletes achieve their personal best! For more details click on the link below.
For more information
More Details
View More

University of Rhode Island
Kingston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

Jun 13 - 21 2014

2014 USA National Games

The USA National Games be centered in and around Princeton and the Greater Mercer County area. Venues will include Princeton University, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, and Mercer County Park. The New Jersey Devils have offered The Prudential Center as the venue for the Opening Ceremonies. The National Games will feature nearly 3,500 athletes competing in 14 Olympic-style sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 8,000 volunteers and an estimated 50,000 family, friends and spectators. Non-competitive special events will include the Final Leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run™ that will symbolize the start of the competition and Healthy Athletes, a place where the athletes can get vital health screenings. Youth and education events will also be held in conjunction with the Games as young leaders rally around making change for the better of the Special Olympics movement and promoting acceptance of those with intellectual disabilities.
For more information
More Details
Greg Epperson
Email:gepperson@specialolympics.org
Phone:919-785-0700
View More

Several Locations - New Jersey
Princeton, New Jersey
UNITED STATES

June 20, 2014

Special Olympics Timor Leste National Games

The National Games will have five competition sports: athletics, bocce, table tennis, badminton and 5-aside football. From these Games, Timor Leste athletes will be selected for the 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
For more information
Sebastiao do Rego Guterres
Email:sebaguterres@gmail.com
View More

Baucau
TIMOR-LESTE

August 01, 2014

2014 Special Olympics East Asia Regional Senior Coach Training - Soccer

Special Olympics China will be hosting the 2014 Special Olympics East Asia Regional Senior Coach Training for soccer. Senior soccer coaches from across 6 Programs in the East Asia region will be invited to part take in this important event.
For more information
View More


CHINA

August 18, 2014

Special Olympics Thailand National Games

Athletes across Thailand will gather in Korat to compete in the following eight sports: athletics, bocce (including Unified), basketball, badminton, cricket, football (Male & Female, Unified), swimming and table tennis (including Unified).
For more information
Rachaniwan Bulakul
Email:solympicsthai@gmail.com
View More

Chalerm Phrakiat 80 Pansa Stadium
Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima
THAILAND

Sep 9 - 21 2014

2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games

In September 2014 more than 2,000 athletes from 58 countries will come to Antwerp, Belgium for the 2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games and enjoy 13 days full of joy and friendship. The athletes will compete in 11 sports and be invited to join 5 supporting programs.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics European Games 2014
Email:info@so2014.com
Phone:+32 3 220 25 00
View More

Various locations, AntwerpAntwerp
BELGIUM

Oct 10 - 12 2014

Special Olympics Bangladesh National Games

Special Olympics Bangladesh’s National Games will welcome an estimated 800 athletes and 100 Unified Sports® partners across Bangladesh. Ten sports will be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cricket, football, handball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. The three day event will be held across different venues: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Army Stadium, National Indoor Stadium & Swimming pool and the Bangladesh Sports Education Institute (BKSP).
For more information
Faruqul Islam
Email:sobangla@gmail.com
Phone:+880 1819 259844
View More

Bangabandhu National Stadium & other venuesDhaka
BANGLADESH

October 20, 2014

Special Olympics National Games 2014 Melbourne

The 10th Special Olympics Australia National Games will involve more than 1,200 athletes of all levels competing in 16 Olympic and demonstration sports and events. These Games offer the opportunity for athletes to be selected to represent Australia at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. For the majority of competitors, the National Games in Melbourne represents the culmination of four years of competing at local, regional and state level. Competing in the same world-class venues as their Olympic heroes, our Special Olympics athletes will perform in front of their proud parents, friends, supporters and the wider community. Athletes of all abilities will compete in 16 Olympic style sports including AFL and netball as demonstration sports across iconic sporting venues in Melbourne. Other special events include: Healthy Athletes Program, Young Athlete Program (2–7 year old), Athlete Leadership & Ambassador Program, Family Functions Social Outing, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Opening and Closing Ceremonies
For more information
More Details
Robyn Cooper
Email:robync@specialolympics.com.au
View More

Lakeside Stadium & various venuesMelbourne
AUSTRALIA

Oct 29 - Nov 10 2014

Special Olympics Unified Football Cup

Modeled after the FIFA World Cup, the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world, the Special Olympics Unified Football Cup will bring together qualifying Unified Sports football (soccer) teams from 25 countries representing each of the Special Olympics seven regions to compete and showcase as never before, the bravery, ability and joy of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners worldwide. Countries that rose to the top during qualifying events and are participating in the Unified Football Cup include: Ivory Coast, South Africa, Tanzania, Libya, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Korea, France, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and the United States of America.
For more information
View More


MALAYSIA

Nov 1 - 3 2014

Special Olympics Nippon National Summer Games Fukuoka 2014

Athletes from all over Japan will come to the city of Fukuoka for the 2014 Special Olympics Fukuoka Games to participate in 3 days of competition in 12 sports. Athletes will compete in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, football, golf, gymnastics, table tennis, volleyball and equestrian.
For more information
More Details
Sayaka Sonobe
Email:tokyo_office@son.or.jp
View More

Multiple locations, Fukuoka
Fukuoka , Kyushu
JAPAN

Dec 14 - 15 2014

Southern California Fall Games

Be inspired by athletic determination and courage. Come cheer on more than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California as they compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals and ribbons at Fall Games. The Games will feature our six fall/winter sports — bowling, floor hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Fall Games, one of our largest competitions, is the second of two Southern California competitions held every year.
For more information
More Details
View More

Fountain Valley and Irvine
Fountain Valley and Irvine, California
UNITED STATES

Jul 24 - Aug 2 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
View More

Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California
UNITED STATES

Do you have an event to add?

Tell us about it so we can publish the details to our calendar.

Register Your Event

Football/Soccer Competitions

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»

Follow us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 220 worldwide locations.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »


Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »



*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan