National Associations

UEFA is determined to assist its members, the 55 national associations, in managing the social, environmental and economic impact of football across Europe.

©FIGC

UEFA HatTrick FSR Programme

The 2016/17 season saw the launch of a new four-year HatTrick-funded FSR programme. All 55 UEFA member associations took advantage of the annual €50,000 grant for FSR projects in 2017/18.

HatTrick is one of the largest solidarity and development programmes ever established by a sports body. It provides national associations with financial support to develop and foster football at all levels. 

UEFA is keen to leverage the inclusion of ring-fenced FSR funding within the HatTrick assistance programme to ensure that meaningful FSR work reaches all of the game’s stakeholders right across Europe. The current HatTrick FSR programme allows national associations to develop social responsibility and sustainability projects throughout the 2016/17 and 2019/20 seasons.

In 2017/18 – the second season of the HatTrick FSR programme – projects were implemented which addressed one or more of the following five issues: diversity, inclusion, health, fan dialogue and gender. The beneficiaries of those projects included refugees, disabled people, addicts, ethnic minorities, economic minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities, prisoners, fans and orphans.
An overview of all projects funded in the 2017/18 season (from page 246).

Good practice

A collection of five good practice examples, identified in 2017/18 from five different national associations, can be seen here (from page 68). 

UEFA Football and Refugees Grant Scheme

In 2017/18, UEFA launched a grant scheme to assist national associations with the integration of refugees through football.

The UEFA Football and Refugees Grant Scheme offers UEFA member associations the opportunity to create new projects (or add value to existing ones) intended to support refugees by means of football activities. Six grants of €50,000 are available each year.

UEFA invites member associations to submit projects (one per association) that meet the following criteria:

  • Promote the integration of refugees in their host societies
  • Comprehensively evaluate and accommodate the needs of refugees 
  • Define clear objectives and activities to help meet those objectives
  • Indicate the estimated number of beneficiaries as a key performance indicator (KPI) 
  • Involve cooperation with expert NGOs and/or relevant government agencies
  • Demonstrate the added value of the grant in the case of an existing project

2017/18 grant recipients

Royal Belgian Football Association (URBSFA/KBVB)

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Title: Free-time welcome! Let’s play after school!

In the 2017/18 season, the URBSFA/KBVB invested in building local partnerships between asylum centres, municipalities and football clubs in order to support the integration of refugees using football. Over the course of the season, the project adapted and became more flexible, allowing refugees to ease into mainstream football at a pace more suited to their readiness.

In some cases, this meant holding separate trainings for groups of refugees until they were considered ready to join in mainstream football. As the season progressed, an increasing number of participants joined the project, with 22 refugees ultimately participating in football programmes in different municipalities across Belgium.

A decrease in conflict between locals and refugees and an increase in self-esteem among refugees were noted as key results of the programme.

Related link:
Integration of refugees & asylum seekers through football (in Dutch)

German Football Association (DFB)

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Title: 2:0 für ein Willkommen! (German Football Welcomes Refugees)

The DFB's '2:0 für ein Willkommen!' built on the lessons of the initial '1:0 für ein Willkommen!' of the previous season, both of which were conceived to support amateur football clubs in their new and important social function as positive catalysts for integration. In the initial phase, a pitch and an instructor were provided by the clubs, and refugees were invited to play football. A more targeted approach was taken in the second phase of the campaign, pinpointing and increasing funding for specific clubs and putting increased emphasis on language skills. The campaign has reached approximately 100,000 refugees, providing them with opportunities to meet Germans, enhance languages skills, understand customs and values, and develop a new sense of home and community.

Related link:
Commitment to refugees (in German)

Italian Football Association (FIGC)

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Title: RETE!

Since RETE! began, the creation of synergies and the expansion of the FIGC network have been crucial to increasing the project's access to financial and human resources and creating more opportunities to integrate and include refugees through football-related activities.

The FIGC has established key partnerships with the Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees (SPRAR), the Ministry of the Interior, municipalities, regional football associations and FIGC technical supplier Puma to provide psychological and medical support, greater institutional cooperation, event organisation, equipment and local playing opportunities.

From 237 players registered across 24 different SPRAR projects in 2015, the programme saw an annual exponential increase, reaching over 500 registered players in 39 different SPRAR projects in 2018.

Related link:
#EqualGame – Abubacarr Konta: The story of a football-loving migrant from The Gambia

Malta Football Association (MFA)

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Title: Include Me and I Will Understand… All In

The MFA, in partnership with government agencies, NGOs, community organisations and local football clubs, has created an ongoing project aimed at integrating refugees by providing them with opportunities to participate as volunteers or coaches in football clubs alongside Maltese nationals.

In order to make refugees and Maltese nationals aware of this project, the MFA found that publicity and media exposure should be coordinated alongside direct contact to the targeted groups. Over 240 refugees and Maltese nationals have participated in the project, with many individuals who were not ordinarily interested in football choosing to partake and benefitting from a fulfilling, inclusive experience.

Related link:
Supporting inclusion of refugees and vulnerable people

Football Association of Norway (NFF)

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Title: Local cooperation synergies

The NFF has found that facilitating and encouraging more “locally adapted” synergies can lead to better utilisation of resources and skills and ensure a more complete understanding of what can be contributed for specific projects. The NFF assists with projects when required, such as providing contacts with necessary skill sets, but chooses to let local actors take the lead, as they have a greater understanding of the local social context.

Refugee groups in certain municipalities may face specific challenges, such as language barriers, trauma experiences, and disabilities, and these challenges can be best approached by those local teams specific to them. This approach has helped develop the use of football as a tool for integration, as it can be adapted toward the specific challenges, needs and experiences of the local refugee community.

Related link:
NFF – current issues (in Norwegian)

Scottish Football Association (SFA)

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Title: Football for All – Ethnic Minority Female Participation

The SFA's Diversity & Inclusion project, which was launched in 2012, recognised that girls, especially those from ethnic minority backgrounds, were not actively involved in football. A survey was conducted to understand why, and most girls who responded explained that they would love to get involved in football but did not know how or lacked the confidence to join.

In addition, religious or cultural factors among many girls of specific ethnic minorities proved to be barriers. With the increased understanding of female needs, the SFA launched a female-only participation centre, allowing girls from different backgrounds to come together in a multicultural, gender-segregated, recreational environment and take part in football activities.

As a result, an increasing number of girls in Scotland are participating in football, with some going on to obtain coaching qualifications. This has created a positive impact within the ethnic minority communities in Scotland and given girls in those communities role models to look to and emulate.

Related links:
Football Equity Project

Resources
Football and Refugees – Addressing Key Challenges – A collection of good practices shared by UEFA member associations

Child safeguarding

UEFA's vision is for football in Europe to be a safe, positive and enjoyable experience for all children and young people, irrespective of ability and level of involvement with the game.

Following a rising number of sexual abuse scandals against minors, UEFA has reaffirmed its commitment to strengthen the protection of children's rights as well as the prevention and adequate response to sexual violence against children in football.

In 2017/18, UEFA launched a new four-year partnership with Terre des hommes to implement a Europe-wide child safeguarding programme. The objective is to raise awareness, educate and train individuals to ensure that adults participating in football activities with children and young people (up to the age of 18) do not expose them to harm or abuse.

The programme's activities cover both preventive actions – policies, practices and procedures – to mitigate the chances of harm occurring, and responsive actions, to ensure that incidents which do happen are handled appropriately.

"Tens of millions of children play football every weekend on our continent. It is our duty to keep them safe. Following the recent exposure of sexual abuse against minors, we cannot shut our eyes. We are parents. And the victims are not just children. They are OUR children." 
Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA President

Natural disaster grants

Each season, UEFA earmarks €500,000 for football organisations that have been affected by natural disasters, such as floods, storms and earthquakes. Clubs, football academies and other football organisations may, through their UEFA member association, apply to UEFA for a natural disaster grant. Any request must be made in the form of a written project proposal. 

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