Help us make a difference!

Make Your Year-End Gift by Dec. 31st - your donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, and change more lives.

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


December 01, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Bulgaria

UNICEF joins Liverpool coaches and British Ambassador to support children in Bulgaria

By Hristo Hristozov

Liverpool FC coaches, the British Ambassador and UNICEF support vulnerable children in Bulgaria.© UNICEF Bulgaria/2014/Ivaylo Spasov

Special Olympics Bulgaria athletes were among children who joined coaches from Liverpool FC Foundation together with the British Ambassador, Jonathan Allen, at a coaching session and a football match to help raise awareness about children's issues in Bulgaria.View Story Special Olympics Bulgaria athletes were among children who joined coaches from Liverpool FC Foundation together with the British Ambassador, Jonathan Allen, at a coaching session and a football match to help raise awareness about children's issues in Bulgaria. The event involved 40 children, including children with disabilities, children from care institutions and children from minority communities. UNICEF Bulgaria was a partner in the initiative together with Special Olympics Bulgaria. The training was part of Liverpool FC's visit to Sofia for the Champions League match against Ludogorets FC on 26 November 2014 in Sofia. A day earlier, the British Ambassador's wife, Elizabeth Allen, hosted an event in partnership with UNICEF Bulgaria to raise awareness about the problems facing vulnerable children in the country. These challenges include implementing the strategy for deinstitutionalization, preventing child abandonment, and integrating children with special needs and those from minority backgrounds into communities. Liverpool FC Foundation spoke about its charity work with children in the United Kingdom.

About Hristo Hristozov:Hristo Hristozov is National Director of Special Olympics Bulgaria.
Share
View less ▲

December 01, 2014 | North America: Florida

Autism & Special Olympics - Always An Adventure!

By Lora Brewer

Brewer Brothers Ready for Action

For the past 15 years, the Brewer family has trying to find programs for their sons with autism. All boundaries for these two boys have been destroyed since they discovered Special Olympics.View Story For the past 15 years, the Brewer family has been coping with both of their sons being diagnosed with autism. At times it is very difficult to find programs that encourage them to venture outside of their comfort zones due to their limitations. All boundaries for these two boys have been destroyed since we discovered Special Olympics in Volusia County, FL. They have participated in soccer, track, surfing, and paddle boarding. I have seen their confidence and self-esteem grow with each accomplishment. The coaches and volunteers work with them beautifully while maintaining the continuity of the sport they are participating in. They both qualified to compete in Cocoa Beach this year and had a fantastic time. Special Olympics has helped draw our family closer as we became cheerleaders for AJ and Jimmy at every event. We look forward to 2015 and all of the new adventures that await us as we continue to participate with Special Olympics and reach higher than before.

About Lora Brewer:I am the mom of two teenagers with Autism and other neurological disorders. I teach special needs students at Monarch Academy in Daytona Beach, Florida. We are actively involved with autism programs in central Florida. Some days it feels like we might not make it through, but our motto is that "Every Day is an Adventure" and we work hard to make the most out of each challenge and continue to push the limits of what we can accomplish.
Share
View less ▲

November 13, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Bangladesh

YKK Asia Group Kids Football Clinic invites SO Bangladesh Coach

By Karyn Tan

Coaches (including Special Olympics Bangladesh's Md Abdur Razzaque) being trained under the YKK Asia Group Kids Football Clinic in Bangladesh.

YKK Holding Asia Pte Ltd (YHA) and YKK Bangladesh Pte Ltd invited Special Olympics Bangladesh football coach Mr. Md Abdur Razzaque to participate in the YKK ASIA Group Kids Football Clinic (AKFC) in Chittagong, Bangladesh.View Story YKK Holding Asia Pte Ltd (YHA) and YKK Bangladesh Pte Ltd invited Special Olympics Bangladesh football coach Mr. Md Abdur Razzaque to participate in the YKK ASIA Group Kids Football Clinic (AKFC) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. This event was part of YKK's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, with the aim to deliver a once in a lifetime experience for these children, many are from orphanages and underprivileged homes. Close to 300 kids and 30 local coaches, including Mr. Razzaque were involved over October 30th to November 1st. Real Madrid Foundation coaches Pablo Gomez Revenga, Javier Garcia Torres and Rafael Palacios Ruiz-Peinado shared the club's training methodology and techniques with the coaches.

About Karyn Tan:Communications Manager for Asia Pacific region
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

May 15 - 16 2015

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
Akin Joseph
Email:akinjoseph@sofl.org
Phone:352-243-9536
View More

ESPN Wide World of Sports
700 South Victory Way

Lake Buena Vista, Florida
UNITED STATES

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
View More

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
View More


Springfield, Missouri
UNITED STATES

Jun 12 - 14 2015

Illinois 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
View More

ISU & IWU Campus
Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
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

August 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

August 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
View More

Webinar
Mount Pleasant, MIchigan
UNITED STATES

September 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

September 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

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

2014 European Summer Games

The Special Olympics European Summer Games featured 10 sports and 58 delegations, making the 2014 Games one of the largest ever. See stories and results


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»

Follow us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 226 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

Make Your Year-End Donation and It Will be MATCHED!

Make your year-end tax-deductible donation and help us get one more person onto the playing field.

Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar through Dec. 31.