Group Draw Makes for Exciting Match Line-Up
The match line-up has been decided for the 2012 Special Olympics European Unified Football Tournament.
Four Groups Drawn
Group Draw Makes for Exciting European Unified Football Tournament Line Up!
A recent group draw in Warsaw, Poland has decided an exciting line-up of matches for the upcoming Special Olympics European Unified Football Tournament taking place from June 5-8 in the impressive sports grounds of Legia Warszawa FC and Agrykola FC in Warsaw Poland.
Twelve national European Teams are competing within four groups, and Poland will play against Russia and Austria. The final match will take place on June 8th on the main pitch of the Legia stadium. Winners of the tournament will qualify for the Special Olympics Unified Cup to be held in Brazil in 2014.
Groups drawn were:
Group A: Poland, Russia, Austria
Group B: Romania, Slovakia, Latvia
Group C: Serbia, Turkey, Hungary
Group D: France, Germany, Lithuania
Polish star defender, Michał Żewłakow, will serve as Ambassador to the Tournament and was present at the draw. He shared his excitement for the tournament remarking: “For me personally Special Olympics athletes demonstrate what is the most beautiful in sports: true emotions and fair competition, and they do it despite the difficulties they face. They are not motivated by money or fame. They practise the purest form of sports - nobody gets closer to the idea than a Special Olympics athlete,”
Michał Żewłakow is Poland’s most capped player and formally played for the Polish National Team. He currently plays as defender for Legia Warszawa FC.
Christian Karembeu, a European and World Cup champion has also confirmed he will attend and support the Special Olympics European Unified Tournament.
Unified Football brings young people with and without intellectual disabilities training and competing together on the same team. Unified Sports is a quick path to friendships and attitude changing.
Other special guests at the draw included the manager of Legia Warszawa Jan Urban, and football players Daniel Łukasik and Vladimer Dvalishvili. The Polish group was drawn by Jan Urban. Poland will compete against Russia and Austria. Five top teams of the tournament will qualify for the world final of Special Olympics Unified Cup – Rio 2014.
The draw took place during Special Olympics European Football Week celebrated by Special Olympics Poland. Other highlights of the week included a matchday of the T—Mobile Ekstraklasa league dedicated to Special Olympics with Special Olympics athletes as special guest to the match. Athletes also carried out a Special Olympics flag on pitch as part of the pre-match presentation while the captain of each home team read out a message of respect and inclusion to the fans in the stands.