UEFA is giving fans around Europe the chance to become local UEFA EURO 2020 Freestylers after revealing its 'Your Move' campaign
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UEFA has broken new ground after unveiling a mascot with a difference for UEFA EURO 2020. Equipped with a dazzling array of football tricks, Skillzy showed off his moves to the 55,000 crowd at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, minutes before Sunday's European Qualifier between the Netherlands and Germany.
The larger-than-life character was devised by UEFA to provide a unique and interactive experience – reflecting younger fans' passion for other forms of football outside the traditional 11-a-side game.
Skillzy was accompanied onto the pitch by two of the world's leading freestylers, Liv Cooke and Tobias Becs, who were also announced as official UEFA EURO 2020 Freestylers during the pre-match show.
"We wanted to move away from the traditional mascot that we have seen at previous UEFA EUROs in order to create a symbol that is able to interact more closely with football fans across the continent,” said Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director of UEFA Events SA.
"It is important that UEFA appeals to football fans of all ages, and by creating a mascot which is actually able to physically play the game we all love, this will inspire youngsters from Dublin to Baku to try and emulate the tricks that Skillzy, Liv Cooke and Tobias Becs are able to master.”
Liv, an English former world champion and Together #WePlayStrong ambassador, added: "Being able to take the beauty of freestyling, street football and panna to football fans all over Europe is a really special opportunity.
"Whether it's playing in the park or on the world stage, whether it's football or freestyling, it's about expressing yourself with the ball at your feet."
Mascots have become an integral part of the UEFA European Football Championship since Pinocchio debuted at the 1980 finals in Italy. However, UEFA is going a step further in celebrating the 60 years of the competition, by giving fans across the continent the chance to become local UEFA EURO 2020 Freestylers via its 'Your Move' campaign.
'Your Move' is inviting fans from all 12 host cities to express themselves through freestyle football and hopefully inspiring them to be part of the UEFA EURO 2020 finals. All football enthusiasts will have the opportunity to showcase their creativity and will be encouraged to submit videos of themselves performing unique freestyle moves that best represent their cities.
The 'Your Move' activation is open to all residents aged 18 or over of the 12 countries staging final-tournament matches. Videos can be uploaded to the following website: www.euro2020.com/your-move
Liv Cooke and Tobias Becs will shortlist the entries for a public vote, whereby two people (one male, one female) will be chosen for each of the host cities: Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and Saint Petersburg.
"UEFA EURO 2020 is about bringing fans from all over Europe together, and from travelling the world performing freestyle I’m so aware of football's potential to unite. It's really exciting to be involved and I can't wait to meet fans from across Europe," said Becs.
"The 2020 finals will be one of the biggest sporting events in history and the involvement of freestyle culture will only enhance it as a spectacle and make sure there is something for everyone. This feels like a really exciting crossover moment between football and freestyle."
The 24 winners will become local UEFA EURO 2020 Freestylers and will get the chance to display their skills at selected events.
Submissions are open from Sunday 24 March 2019 at 20:45CET until Monday 1 July 2019 at midnight CET.