In the News

European Football Week #EFW2021

From 23 to 30 September, thousands of participants across 40 countries will take part in safe, local events to mark European Football Week 2021 #EFW2021, supported by supported by UEFA.
A group of women and girls in football kit stand together on a green pitch while a red football bounces in the air above them.
The athletes of Special Olympics Poland celebrate European Football Week 2020 with Legia Warsaw Football Club.


#EFW Turns 21!

With European Football Week marking its milestone 21st anniversary this year, there could not be a better moment to welcome the athletes of Special Olympics back to the pitch to compete and train after so many months away from the Beautiful Game. To follow #EFW2021 on social media, go to our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Creating a Safe Environment—On and Off the Pitch

Considering the challenging context of the past year and a half, the focus is getting players with intellectual disabilities safely back onto to the pitch with local, grassroots events in a healthy and safe environment.

There will also be plenty for coaches to get involved in with a new training series on safeguarding. Over 30 training sessions and webinars will be organised with a focus on policies and procedures that ensure a safe, respectful and healthy environment is nurtured before, during and after all Special Olympics activities.

#EFW2021 activities will also be a part of European Week of Sport fueled by the #BeActive campaign, an initiative of the European Commission, which takes place at the same time!

Our Partners

UEFA Respect Logo

UEFA Respect has been our partner for European Football Week for 21 years! Together with national football federations and clubs, we have organised more than 7,000 grassroots football activities. Each of these events has played its part in positively changing attitudes towards players with intellectual disabilities and expanding inclusive football opportunities for all across Europe.

Learn more about the about UEFA’s social responsibility activities. and UEFA Safeguarding. For information about UEFA resources please contact Miroslaw Krogulec or Aoife O'Grady.

We will also be working in cooperation with partners, European Football for Development Network (EFDN), iCoachKids, UNFPA, Lions Club and UEFA

A man stands in the middle of a group of girls in red Special Olympics t-shirts holding signs saying ‘#EqualGame’ and #Respect on a football pitch.
Former Real Madrid player Christian Karembeu with athletes from Special Olympics Spain athletes at the Uefa Champions Festival in Madrid in 2019.

A Brief History!

EFW began back in 2000 with 15 countries taking part. Although we have now grown to 40 countries, the objective remains the same: players of all the abilities getting the opportunity to take part and demonstrate their skills and talents at grassroots level.

Every year, clubs from European Leagues—from Italian Serie A and Serie B and Polish Ekstraklasa to German Bundesliga clubs—throw their support behind European Football Week. We can’t wait to see who gets involved this year!

Get Involved

For more information on Special Olympics EFW contact Miroslaw Krogulec, Senior Director of Sports, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.

Resources
Below you'll find resources for Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia (SOEE) region and programs.
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