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UEFA Assist


By sharing the knowledge and expertise of UEFA and its member associations with our five sister confederations and their associations, our Assist programme contributes to the global development of football.

UEFA Assist


UEFA launched Assist, a football development programme, in 2017. Its objective: to share the experience and know-how of UEFA and its member associations outside of Europe.

By working closely with UEFA’s five sister confederations and FIFA, Assist has built on existing collaborations with the AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), Concacaf (North and Central America), CONMEBOL (South America) and the OFC (New Zealand and South Pacific island nations). This strengthens ties between member associations across all six continents.

How Assist works

The programme, which has supported more than 400 football development projects in close to 60 countries worldwide, offers strategic development and direct funding support across four main areas.

Building capacity

Assist helps confederations, including their regional and member associations, build capacity by sharing knowledge and funding education programmes. Activities include:

  • Courses on football association management
  • Workshops covering communications and marketing
  • Leadership retreats
  • Career transition guidance for players
  • Developing youth football
The Royal Netherlands Football Association conducted a grassroots development project in Sint Maarten
The Royal Netherlands Football Association conducted a grassroots development project in Sint Maarten

Developing youth football

Assist offers young players the chance to develop their skills through exposure to different playing styles and cultures, promoting their personal development on and off the pitch. This is achieved by enabling national teams from various countries to participate in UEFA Under-16 tournaments for boys and girls.

During the 2022/23 season, teams from three different confederations (Chile, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia and South Africa) took part in UEFA development tournaments in Europe. For many participants, it was their first taste of international football.

Financial support is also provided for youth tournaments held outside of Europe, such as in Paraguay, Myanmar, Vanuatu and the United States, to facilitate the participation of European national teams.

Both approaches provide the best young talent with vital experience of high-intensity, competitive tournament football – notably in preparation for the FIFA U-17 World Cups, which from 2025 will take place annually instead of every two years.

"It's a great life lesson, and it’s amazing to see the young players singing their own anthems, playing for their jersey, for their country. It’s good to see the kids dreaming."

Christian Karembeu, tournament ambassador at 2023 OFC Under-15 tournament organised by UEFA Assist

Strengthening infrastructure

Assist has made an instant impact on the day-to-day challenges of member associations within our sister confederations by financing small-scale projects. For example:

  • Purchasing minivans to facilitate access to grassroots football programmes
  • Funding critical stadium infrastructure such as floodlighting, stands and pitch maintenance equipment

Supporting associations

Assist encourages UEFA's member associations to work with their counterparts across all six confederations on football development initiatives. Examples include:

The future

Our application procedure is currently on hold as Assist transitions to a new phase. We are presently consulting with FIFA, our member associations, as well as sister confederations and their associations, about ways to enhance our future collaboration.


UEFA Assist Principles (PDF)

Annual Report 2022/23: Christian Karembeu interview on UEFA support for under-15 football tournament in New Zealand

Annual Report 2021/22: Under-16 tournament held in Skopje, North Macedonia

UEFA Assist: empowering women's football worldwide

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