UEFA has revealed the full schedule of events for the annual UEFA Champions Festival, which will take place in London from 23–26 May.
The free four-day football celebration, featuring a series of family-friendly activities, will be the first major event to come to the home of the 2012 London Olympics since last summer, being held at The International Quarter, Stratford City, close to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and celebrating women's football, futsal and grassroots football.
Opening times (all times BST):
• 23 May: 12.00–21.00
• 24 May: 12.00–21.00
• 25 May: 09.00–18.00
• 26 May: 12.00–18.00
The festival will offer visitors an array of exciting and fun activities each day, including a variety of skills clinics and competitions, organised by UEFA and its partners. Competition winners can take part in coaching courses led by professionals throughout the week.
The first day of the festival, Thursday 23 May, will be dedicated to women's football, with girls' training sessions directed by UEFA Women's Champions League ambassadors, including Faye White. England internationals Eniola Aluko, Carly Telford and Hannah Blundell, together with England women's Under-17 coach Lois Fidler, will also be on hand for training tips at girls' grassroots matches in the afternoon. Crowning the day, the UEFA Women's Champions League final between VfL Wolfsburg and holders Olympique Lyonnais will be played at Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge, kick-off 19.30 local time.
The following day the focus of the UEFA Champions Festival shifts to futsal. Futsal is the small-sided game that many football greats played when growing up to hone their abilities. In addition to futsal tournaments for youngsters, futsal luminaries Ricardinho and Javi Rodríguez will be present to provide hints and advice.
The day will also comprise two showpiece games, with FC Barcelona's U23 futsal team taking on the England senior futsal side before a squad of football notables, including Cafu, Robert Pirès, Vítor Baía and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, test their futsal skills against players from five-time English futsal champions Helvécia Futsal London in a celebrity match.
Saturday 25 May is devoted to the UEFA Champions League as the world builds up to the final between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München at Wembley that evening. The day includes the Ultimate Champions Match, in which UEFA Champions League legends go head-to-head in a five-a-side game.
The final day of the festival will see dedicated grassroots matches as well as a demonstration of disability football. There will also be an unsighted penalty shoot-out – which festival visitors can try – involving Dave Clarke, an unsighted footballer, and Mark Hunter, an Olympic gold medallist rower. Following the freestyle routines held at the festival on Friday and Saturday, the world's top 16 freestylers will battle it out in the final of the World Freestyle Championships.
Festival attendees will have the opportunity to pose with the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Women's Champions League and UEFA Futsal Cup trophies, as well as to visit the UEFA Champions League museum to experience memories of past tournaments.
Steve McManaman, 2013 UEFA Champions League final ambassador, said: "This year's UEFA Champions Festival is going to be better than ever and it is fantastic to have the event in Stratford as the area really came alive last summer for London 2012. The programme of events is outstanding and with the different themes and focus for every day we can be sure there is something for everyone, making it a perfect family day out."
Further to the festival activity, the 'Kings of Europe – UEFA Icons' exhibition showcases 160 iconic photographs at Westfield, Stratford City, until Sunday 26 May. Entrance is free. The collection contains an exclusive, never-seen-before exhibition and images from UEFA club competitions dating back to 1955, with famous names such as Ruud Gullit, Ryan Giggs, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eusébio, George Best and Zinédine Zidane pictured at historic matches.
UEFA ambassadors, including White and McManaman, will be present to meet and greet festival visitors, who will also be invited to participate in an exciting entertainment schedule hosted by UEFA Champions League partners.
For further information, please visit UEFA.com/championsfestival
adidas: The UEFA Champions League represents the elite platform for adidas to showcase its leadership as the No1 global football brand. The adidas 'All For This' integrated marketing campaign around the UEFA Champions League final typifies the brand's long-standing partnership with the tournament, showing adidas as an integral part of the history, the present and the future of football.
You can experience this at the adidas 'All For This' area at the UEFA Champions Festival. In addition, you will be able to purchase official merchandise such as UEFA Champions League final products, the adidas official matchball range, club jerseys and a selection of official UEFA licensee products at the UEFA Champions League Superstore.
Ford: For chances to win tickets to the UEFA Champions League final, and with something for every fan, visit Discover Ford at the UEFA Champions Festival. There is a range of activities including a thrilling Fiesta ST stunt drive with a special guest appearance from Ken Block on Friday lunchtime, an ST Skate Park show and a Focus ST driving simulator. Deploy the remarkable technologies in the new Ford Kuga to drive the Champions circuit or create and share your own version of UEFA Champions League TV idents. All free of charge, courtesy of Ford. Discover more about Ford on the Ford website.
Gazprom: Gazprom offers a unique attraction to festival visitors: being interviewed by a professional television presenter. Get your own football interview on video and the opportunity to download the clip via a personal code on the Gazprom website afterwards. You can also test your football skills at the different skill stations. Collect as many points as you can and win great prizes. At the Reaction Wall you can test your reaction speed and in case you are not only interested in football but would also like to learn more about gas production, transportation and usage, enjoy the movie on the big screen.
HTC: Visit the HTC zone to experience the new HTC One and take the penalty challenge. Capture the moment with the HTC UltraPixel Camera and bring the memories to life with HTC Zoe. Share the best shot with your friends for a chance to take home exciting prizes, including UEFA Super Cup tickets and HTC One devices.
MasterCard: Win a free limited edition UEFA Champions League gift. Simply spend £25 or more at the official merchandise shops at the UEFA Champions Festival using your MasterCard or Maestro card and earn yourself a free limited edition UEFA Champions League final match ball key ring.
PlayStation: PlayStation is celebrating football and gaming at this year's UEFA Champions Festival. We have a brilliant lineup of exclusive titles on both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita for you to try – and plenty of opportunities to play on our pitch. Join in penalty shoot-out competitions, skills challenges and much more for your chance to win a PlayStation 4, a PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vitas and UEFA Champions League Final tickets. We are also supporting young talent and community football throughout the event, with various matches and training sessions. So come along and celebrate football and gaming with PlayStation.
UniCredit: Join the game! With UniCredit's RoboKeeper you can compete against a robotic goal keeper in a real-life penalty situation. The RoboKeeper is a goalkeeper operated automatically by two cameras focusing on the ball. High-technology computers recognise the complete ballistic curve of the ball and transmit its position to the RoboKeeper in just 0.3 seconds. Show your skills and gather points, with great prizes to win from UniCredit, and participate in the UEFA Champions Festival raffle.
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