UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

UEFA and grassroots football


Grassroots football forms the foundations of the European sports model and lies at the heart of UEFA's mission.

A grassroots event in Hungary
A grassroots event in Hungary UEFA via Getty Images

What is grassroots football?

Grassroots football is at the heart of our mission. It is the foundation of the game and prioritises the love of the football and joy of participation. It is both non-professional and non-elite.

Grassroots football includes:

  • children’s football
  • school football
  • disability football
  • football for veterans
  • walking football
  • football for homeless people
  • football for refugees

Grassroots football is football for everyone irrespective of age, ability, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal trait.

Football for seniors in Denmark
Football for seniors in DenmarkUEFA via Getty Images

"The development of the grassroots game holds a special place at UEFA. It is grassroots football where our lifelong love for football begins: playing with friends in a safe environment guided by parents, teachers and coaches. Each of us cherishes those early lessons and the friendships formed in local clubs."

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin

Why is grassroots football important?

The grassroots game is vital to ensuring the long-term health and growth of football. It is also a vehicle for education, personal development and mental health, and can have a hugely positive impact on society.

Grassroots football helps to:

  • teach positive values
  • promote healthier lifestyles
  • unite communities
  • create employment and personal development opportunities

Growing grassroots football is not only about increasing the number of players. It is also about improving the quality of football provision throughout Europe. The aim is to provide a better environment and experience for all involved.

What are the benefits for national associations and UEFA?

Grassroots football provides many benefits for national associations and UEFA.

Grassroots football helps national associations and UEFA to:

  • Connect with regional and local communities.
  • Build trust and positive relationships with stakeholders.
  • Contribute to society through more registered players and clubs.
  • Develop stronger links with non-governmental organisations and public authorities.
  • Identify talent for player pathways.
  • Increase the number of customers the game has and increase financial and social return on investment.
Young players in grassroots action
Young players in grassroots action SPORTSFILE

Celebrating grassroots

UEFA Grassroots Week

UEFA Grassroots Week is an annual event highlighting the importance of ensuring everyone, everywhere has an equal opportunity to play football.

Grassroots Week takes place every September during the European Commission's European Week of Sport. Alongside our 55 member associations, we use the week to encourage participation in all forms of football and highlight outstanding grassroots football projects across Europe.

UEFA Grassroots Awards

UEFA Grassroots Awards recognise leaders, clubs and projects throughout Europe for their outstanding contribution to grassroots football.

Each year, all 55 national associations are invited to nominate candidates. Winners are recommended and selected by UEFA's Grassroots Panel and approved by the Development and Technical Assistance Committee.

2022/23 UEFA Grassroots Awards winners

There are five categories included in the UEFA Grassroots Awards:

Best participation initiative

Outstanding grassroots football project run by a national or regional association. A project that demonstrates innovation by using research, data and insights to develop the grassroots game and to increase participation.

Best education initiative

Remarkable football education activity run by a national or regional association to develop key individuals' knowledge and skills within the football communities.

Best disability initiative

Exceptional disability football project run by a national or regional association or an organisation for people with disabilities, advancing inclusivity and accessibility in football.

Best amateur club

An amateur club with an inclusive agenda that offers grassroots football for men, women, boys and girls, and boasts an impressive number of players or social impact.

Best professional football club

A professional club with an inclusive agenda or specific social objective that demonstrates commitment to its role in society, the local community and the grassroots game.

Selected for you