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UEFA Assist
Football development

UEFA Assist

By working with UEFA’s five sister confederations and their member associations, the Assist programme contributes to the global development of football.

Developing football beyond Europe

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.

So far, Assist has channelled UEFA support to more than 400 football development projects in close to 60 countries worldwide. Initiatives focus on four main goals:

Developing the capacity of general secretaries in Africa
Developing the capacity of general secretaries in Africa

Building capacity

  • Sharing knowledge and funding education programmes
  • Examples: courses on football association management; workshops covering communications and marketing; leadership retreats; career transition guidance for players; women’s football and league development programmes

Developing youth football

  • Providing opportunities for talented young players to widen their experience of different playing styles and cultures, and to grow both on and off the field
  • Examples:
    – supporting the participation of national teams from around the world in European boys’ and girls’ Under-16 tournaments
    – supporting youth tournaments staged outside of Europe (e.g. in Paraguay, Myanmar, Vanuatu and the United States) both financially and by ensuring the participation of European national teams
An Assist minivan in Bhutan
An Assist minivan in Bhutan

Strengthening infrastructure

  • Funding small-scale projects that make an instant impact on the day-to-day challenges of member associations within our sister confederations
  • Examples: 
    – helping to purchase minivans to increase access to grassroots football programmes
    – funding vital stadium infrastructure such as floodlighting, stands and pitch maintenance equipment
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

Supporting UEFA member associations

  • Encouraging UEFA’s member associations to work with member associations of other confederations on football development initiatives
  • Examples: 
    Slovak Football Association: supporting player development in Botswana
    Football Association of Iceland: sharing best practices with the Dominica Football Association and funding equipment
    Belarus Football Federation: funding the costs of AFC national youth teams’ participation in the international Development Cup tournament in Minsk
    Irish Football Association: organising coach education courses in Tanzania

Related links:
UEFA Assist Principles: comprehensive overview of UEFA Assist programmes