UEFA's Football and Social Responsibility unit addresses key social responsibility issues through football in close partnership with expert organisations.
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Diversity & Inclusion
Fare's commitment to tackle discrimination through football's inclusive power is based on the principle that the game, as the most popular sport in the world, belongs to us all and can propel social cohesion.
The Fare network involves NGOs, minority groups, grassroots organisations and the professional football industry working together in a joint effort to celebrate diversity and combat racism, homophobia, sexism and other forms of discrimination at all levels of the game.
Fare was established in 1999 to act as a decentralised, grassroots network to facilitate anti-discrimination activity on various levels, ranging from transnational, Europe-wide initiatives to local football clubs. The enthusiasm and creativity of the founding organisations – and, from 2001, the support from UEFA – have been crucial to developing Fare into what it is today: a pioneer at the forefront of the fight for equality and inclusion in sport.
- Working with national associations and European governmental and intergovernmental level organisations, developing guides, producing diversity action plans; among other ongoing activities
- Organising and coordinating the annual #FootballPeople weeks campaign
- Producing educational resources for direct use within schools and other learning institutions
- Capacity-building by working with minority groups
- Match monitoring and reporting incidents of discrimination
- Participating at UEFA club competition finals festivals
Since 2012/13, Fare has supported 9,750 grassroots groups with more than 1,375 grants totalling over €700,000.
Homeless World Cup Foundation
The Homeless World Cup Foundation (HWCF) aims to use football to support and inspire homeless people to improve their lives, while challenging and changing perceptions and attitudes towards people who are homeless.
UEFA recognised the impact and inspirational nature an annual tournament would have on people who have been marginalised and began working with HWCF in 2003. The HWCF now touches the lives of over 80,000 people every year in 74 countries around the world.
The objective of the partnership with UEFA is to address a lack of stable accommodation, unemployment, physical and mental health challenges, addiction issues and being excluded and marginalised.
- Organising an annual Homeless World Cup tournament
- Supporting 74 partners year-round by coordinating and supporting continental tournaments
- Organising partner get-togethers and workshops ("iPass") to share information and ideas
- Running two referee training programme per year
As many as 497 players in 64 teams, including 19 women's teams, attended the 2017 Homeless World Cup in Oslo.
Centre for Access to Football in Europe
The Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) was set up to support UEFA and its national associations to ensure disabled people are able to enjoy an inclusive and accessible matchday experience. Accessible services and facilities allow differently disabled people to attend and enjoy live football matches amongst their fellow fans.
Since it was established in 2009, CAFE and UEFA have enjoyed many successes together in access and inclusion for disabled people. UEFA and CAFE published Access for All – the Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience. This Guide sets out the minimum accessibility requirements for new and existing stadiums, based on European standards, and is a valuable tool for any football association or club.
In recent years, CAFE has widened its focus to promote the inclusion of disabled people within the working world of football.
- Extending audio-descriptive commentary across Europe
- Increasing availability of stadium access information across Europe
- Increasing training in disability and inclusion etiquette
- Organising and promoting the CAFE Week of Action campaign
- Supporting and facilitating the implementation of the Disability Access Officer (DAO) criterion across Europe
- Conducting access appraisals in each host stadium
- Creating the Disabled Spectator's Guide
- Managing the implementation and development of the DAO role
The CAFE Week of Action was celebrated in 34 countries in 2018/19 – the largest number of participants since its creation.
Access for All – UEFA and CAFE Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience
Disability Access Officer Handbook
CAFE Audio-Descriptive Commentary Programme
CAFE Disabled Supporters Associations (DSAs) Information Pack
CAFE Week of Action 2018 Summary Report
CAFE Week of Action 2019 Information Pack
CAFE Guidance Note Sensory viewing rooms
CAFE Guidance Notes on Inclusive Employment
Colour Blind Awareness
Worldwide, there are approximately 300 million people with colour blindness, but despite the large number of people affected, colour blindness is an under-recognised and poorly understood condition.
In football, it is an important issue because it can affect players, spectators and management at every level of the game. It can impact a player’s performance, spoil the enjoyment of watching a match and adversely affect revenues. There are also potential safety issues at stadia which can result in serious repercussions for individuals, clubs and stadium operators.
Colour Blind Awareness highlights issues affecting colour blind people, including fans, players and employees, and aims to achieve equal access for every colour blind person, however they engage with football.
- Providing guidance generally on colour blindness in football
- Providing specific guidance regarding information, signage and equipment at stadiums
- Participating at UEFA club competition finals festivals
- Organising club training workshops
A colour blindness accessibility audit for stadiums had – by the end of the 2017/18 season – been applied to inspections of 10 of the 12 UEFA EURO 2020 stadiums, as well as the stadiums used for the 2018 UEFA club competition finals events.
International Blind Sports Federation
There are estimated to be over 30 million blind and partially sighted persons in geographical Europe. The overall objective of UEFA's partnership with the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) is to give all visually impaired men, women, girls and boys in Europe the opportunity to play football at the level they wish by continuing to expand and improve opportunities to train and play all over the continent.
IBSA's specific project aims include addressing the issues of social exclusion, lower participation levels, low self-esteem and self-confidence and social stigmas concerning visual impairment, and to promote the values associated with sport in general and team sports in particular.
- Actively promoting blind football in new countries, and offering support to introduce the game
- Fostering youth engagement and expanding women's blind football by staging European camps and tournaments for young players and women
- Providing blind football equipment – mainly balls, eyeshades and blackout goggles – to emerging European countries
- Expanding the pool of officials by organising referee training opportunities
- Hold in-country training weekends in new countries to teach players, coaches and others the basics of the game.
Since 2012, IBSA has donated 1,375 balls, 1,119 eyeshades and 127 sets of blackout goggles to programmes in 43 countries.
International Federation of CP Football
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in early childhood. Globally, over 17 million people have cerebral palsy, and that number is expected to increase.
The International Federation of CP Football (IFCPF) believes that it has a responsibility to foster unity within the CP football world and to use the sport to promote inclusive and accessible playing opportunities for everyone. Together with UEFA, IFCPF uses CP Football to promote solidarity, anti-discrimination, diversity, social integration and active and healthy lifestyles for all. With UEFA's support, IFCPF has become the leading body in CP Football.
- Delivering CP Football workshops and online education opportunities
- Supporting development tournaments with grant funding
- Increasing female participation by finding and promoting more opportunities
- Providing development grants
- Coordinating the general (quadrennial) competition cycle
In the first year, more than 12 countries have used CP football's mixed-gender rule to engage female players in CP football at a development level.
Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
There are as many as 200 million people with intellectual disabilities around the world. The mission of Special Olympics is to change lives through the power of sport by empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect.
The objective of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia's (SOEE) partnership with UEFA involves providing opportunities for training and competition in football for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, with a focus on increasing the number of female footballers with intellectual disabilities.
Through football, with a particular focus on unified football, people with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to develop as athletes, teammates and people.
- Organising local, national and cross-border football tournaments as part of the Special Olympics European Football Week
- Organising two annual European invitational football tournaments
- Organising seminars and workshops in countries on annual basis
- Organising the biannual SOEE football conference
- Developing unified youth football projects
- Participating in showcase matches at the UEFA Europa League Fan Zone and Champions Festival
In just one year, the number of Special Olympics footballers in Europe increased by 5,000.
European Deaf Sports Association
Close to 9% of the European population has a disabling hearing loss, and the estimated numbers are increasing.
The European Deaf Sports Organisation (EDSO) aims to provide deaf players with the opportunity to play football and compete with and against other deaf players, thereby helping deaf individuals develop greater self-esteem, resilience and physical abilities, and fulfil their potential in society.
- Organising the football and futsal men’s and women’s Deaf Champions League
- Organising European-wide tournaments
112 female players took part in the futsal Deaf Champions League in the 2017/18 season.
European Powerchair Football Association
The goal of UEFA's partnership with the European Powerchair Football Association's (EPFA) partnership is to provide opportunities for people with a severe (often life-limiting) physical impairment to participate in the game of football.
Powerchair football is unique in that it allows all ages, disabilities and both genders to compete together to play while enabling them to take part in regular activity and competition - something that the majority will never, or rarely, have experienced before due to their impairment. Powerchair football also creates a great social opportunity for the players and their families as they experience the highs and lows of participating in the world’s favourite sport.
As a UEFA partner, EPFA has been able to grow and develop in its first decade, reaching new countries each year and building its network within the football community.
- Provide education programmes to support the recruitment and training of coaches
- Providing match official training and support referee progression
- Providing international competition for all affiliates
- Providing a European club team event to allow elite level club competition
- Ensuring affiliates are sustainable and receive the support required
2,550 players are registered with or competing under a full or associate national organisation for Powerchair Football.
European Amputee Football Federation
Amputee football is one of the fastest growing disabled football disciplines in the world. Although this discipline has existed since the 1980s, the number of countries playing amputee football in Europe tripled in recent years, mainly as a result of promotional activities and opportunities and an increased interest in the disabled sport.
Established in 2015, the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) aims to include and support people with amputations or limb defects, increase their access to amputee football opportunities, and use football to improve their quality of life.
Through the partnership with UEFA, EAFF has increased and improved communication and cooperation between national amputee football federations and national football associations.
- Organising EAFF meetings
- Organising European Amputee Football Weeks
- Developing Amputee Football in new countries
- Organising European Amputee Football Junior Camps
- Organising amputee football exhibition matches at UEFA club competition finals
- Development of amputee associations and leagues, which include teams from major European football clubs
The European Amputee Football Championship final in Turkey was watched live by over 41,000 spectators in the stadium, while the television broadcast reached millions of viewers.
Some of the biggest opportunities in realising the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals lie in transforming the global energy, food and land use systems. Achieving the SDGs is intrinsically linked to the Paris Agreement and its goal to limit global warming to well below 2°C. Failing to do so could put up to US$ 24 trillion of assets – almost of 20% of all financial assets – at risk by the end of the century.
South Pole has always stood for one shared belief: that the economy and society can only thrive if businesses can embed sustainability and the environment into the heart of their activities, including the activities involved in the business of football.
South Pole accelerates the transition to a sustainable and climate-smart economy and society, and through its partnership with UEFA, aims to increase awareness around climate change and facilitate opportunities to decrease football's footprint.
- Collecting monthly flight data reports and calculating emissions
- Applying Carbon Compensation Scheme screening criteria to existing emission reduction projects for definition of a selected list of projects
- Retiring an amount of issued carbon credits that is equal to the actual flights-related footprint of UEFA employees
- Supporting marketing for annual report (project sheets, photos, testimonials, infographics, one video)
- Advising and assisting on how UEFA can move towards CO2 neutral business practices and organising CO2 neutral competitions, with a focus on UEFA EURO 2020
UEFA offset 28,592 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from 63,835 flights in 2017/18. Over its nine-year partnership with South Pole, the total amount of emissions offset by UEFA has reached an impressive 218,229 tonnes.
Governments and scientists have agreed that global warming must remain under 2C to avoid catastrophic climate change. WWF is now working to ensure that governments double down on their climate efforts and increase the ambition of their national action plans.
UEFA has been a crucial partner for WWF’s climate change and renewable energy initiatives for the past decade. The partnership enables WWF to focus on supporting high level global political processes contributing to the reduction of global greenhouse emissions and addressing human-induced climate change.
Due to football's immense popularity, WWF can not only gain exposure to its campaigns and actions through UEFA platforms and support, but also work with football toward creating more sustainable events and major competitions.
- Carrying out active participation and advocacy at annual UNFCCC COPs
- Carrying out active participation and advocacy at high-level intergovernmental and sectoral global events, forums and meetings
- Engaging with networks and coalitions for non-state actors to increase commitments and ambition towards keeping global warming at 1.5C
- Mobilising cities (with focus on Europe) to engage locally in implementing actions towards a 1.5ºC climate resilient future
The #pandahub hosted 51 public events overall, with around 2,300 people visiting in person and 20,000 viewing online live-streaming services.
Health & well-being
European Healthy Stadia Network
Two thirds of premature deaths in the European Region are caused by four major non-communicable diseases (NCDs): cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory disease. By tackling major risk factors (such as tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, hypertension, obesity and environmental factors), at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancer could be prevented.
Whilst football is in no way a type of panacea to combat NCDs, UEFA is committed to working with experts, like Healthy Stadia, throughout the season and at competitions, including the UEFA EURO, to promote healthy and active lifestyles across Europe and to reduce the negative health impact of competitions for all stadium users.
- Leading on annual benchmarking exercises for UEFA club competition finals with the assistance of National Associations and stadium operators
- Developing content for a healthier catering toolkit for football and catering stakeholders
- Promoting active travel options (walking or cycling) to and from football venues for fans, staff and non-matchday visitors
- Promoting tobacco-free football environments through guidance documents, steward training and adoption of Healthy Stadia's Tobacco-Free Football Declaration by key stakeholders in European football.
- Engaging the European football family in heart health promoting actions and media outputs in support of World Heart Day (29 September)
- Coordinating European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) - the gold standard physical activity programme for middle-aged football fans.
Healthy Stadia successfully engaged 30 of UEFA's national associations to deliver communications and matchday actions in support of World Heart Day in 2018.
Active Travel Case Study – UEFA Women's EURO 2017
Active Travel Guidance for Sports Stadia
UEFA EURO 2016 – Respect Your Health: No Tobacco – Case Study
Tobacco-Free Stadia Guidance: Main Guide
European Fans in Training: EUROFIT
Toolkit for Activators on Physical Activity and Healthier Lifestyles
My Heart Your Heart – Support Toolkit for Football Organisations
Peace & reconciliation
Cross Cultures Project Association
Children living in politically fragile and post-war situations are extremely vulnerable to conflicts and insecurity, and they need a high degree of structure in their lives.
The core programme of the Cross Cultures Project Association (CCPA) is the Open Fun Football Schools (OFFS), which were first introduced to war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998. The CCPA uses its OFFS as an entry point into local communities in post conflict areas to promote a culture of reconciliation, non-violence, social and ethnic integration, and the incorporation of sustainable development.
UEFA backing has provided the OFFS programme with recognition and credibility that has helped CCPA to gain access to, and facilitate cooperation with, national associations and thousands of local football clubs and other community partners, as well as international donor organisations.
- Organising regional leader and coach seminars
- Organising Open Fun Football Schools
- Organising Fun Festivals and regular after school sports activities
- Organising international women’s network seminars
- Establishing of cross-sectorial child protection networks in 11 countries
In 2017/18, OFFS activities in Ukraine and Moldova reached 12,800 boys and girls aged 8–12. Fun football festivals and other follow-up activities reached another 12,500 children, and customised child-protection educational programmes were held in 117 public schools.
sportanddev.org is the leading hub for the sport and development community to share knowledge, build good practice, coordinate with others and create partnerships. The platform serves as an instrument to advocate UEFA’s perspectives and as a resource for UEFA to stay updated on the latest developments regarding social responsibility in sport.
The partnership aims to contribute to a future where governments, sports federations, international organisations, NGOs and other stakeholders become empowered to harness sport as an effective means for development, in particular by supporting them in contributing towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- Creating a website section with resources for governments to implement sport projects
- Creating a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on sport and development
- Promoting innovation through on- and off-line events, and scientific workshop
- Coordinating International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) activities
- Regularly posting content from UEFA and FSR partners and disseminating case studies and news stories on the role of football and other sports in community development
- Collating football-related articles on a dedicated football page
sportanddev.org had a total of 8,704 registered members on its site in the 2017/18 season.
International Committee of the Red Cross
Since its creation in 1863, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helps people around the world affected by armed conflict and other violence, doing everything it can to protect their lives and dignity and to relieve their suffering, often with its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners. The organisation also seeks to prevent hardship by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and championing universal humanitarian principles.
In 1997, the ICRC became UEFA's first charity partner and UEFA became the ICRC's first sport association partner. The UEFA-ICRC partnership has the dual objectives to provide physically disabled people with rehabilitation services and improve access to social inclusion activities, including sport, for physically disabled people.
- Facilitating the social reintegration of people with physical disabilities through a variety of activities, including sport
- Providing physical rehabilitation services
- Supporting physically disabled people to pursue activities in sport, education and entrepreneurship
- UEFA.com Team of the Year initiative
118 people – including 59 children – are part of six ICRC-supported football teams in Afghanistan.
Centre for Sport and Human Rights
The issue of human rights is as old as humankind. Often an inconvenient truth to consider when entering a stadium or pulling on a kit, human rights are as embedded in sport as they are in every other facet of human existence.
In June 2018, the world of sport made a firm commitment to protecting and respecting these intrinsic rights with the opening of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights. UEFA has been a member since the beginning and has a place on the Advisory Council. The Centre will work with sport bodies, event hosts, affected groups, and others to share knowledge, build capacity, and strengthen accountability.
- Supporting governments, host actors, sports governing bodies, international federations, and companies to promote human rights and supporting the implementation of their duties and responsibilities to prevent harms in line with the Sporting Chance Principles and international human rights instruments, principles and standards
- Taking a clear cross-cutting focus on strengthening access to effective remedies for affected groups, including those that may have particular vulnerabilities, namely: children, human rights defenders, women and girls, LGBTI+, disabled people, migrants, minority and ethnic groups, indigenous people, and historically disadvantaged communities.
- Reporting on progress towards full implementation
The Centre for Sport and Human Rights currently has an advisory council of 42 entities, including sport governing bodies, national governments, corporates and international NGOs.
Terre des hommes
In early 2018, Terre des hommes (Tdh) and UEFA have joined efforts to develop a Europe-wide child safeguarding programme aimed at strengthening UEFA’s commitment to provide a safe, positive and enjoyable football experience for all children and young people, irrespective of ability and level of involvement in the game.
Tdh is a leading child relief organisation, committed to making significant and lasting improvements to the lives of the most vulnerable children worldwide. Each year, the organisation provides assistance to over four million children and members of their communities in development and humanitarian settings, in more than 40 countries.
Tdh activities within the framework of the UEFA partnership focus on:
- raising awareness,
- educating and training individuals to ensure that adults participating in football activities with children and young people do not expose them to harm or abuse,
- ensuring effective policies, practices and procedures are in place and helping create channels to identify and address any child safeguarding concerns that may arise.
We promote effective policies, practices and procedures and equip national football associations in Europe with the necessary knowledge and resources to prevent harm and to respond to situations of concern.
3 projects’ key figures:
- 500 football professionals will improve their practices through our online courses
- 55 child safeguarding focal points will benefit from in-depth face-to-face training
- 1,000 people will take part in awareness raising activities
A child safeguarding policy for national football associations
A child safeguarding policy was developed for UEFA, reaffirming UEFA’s commitment to ensuring that football is a safe and positive experience for all children involved in the game. Additionally, a sample child safeguarding policy is made available in support of national football associations implementing or reviewing a range of measures. The policy outlines the guiding principles, minimum requirements and procedures to follow, in order to provide a safe environment for children.
Innovative and practical tools
To help national associations in training their staff, we have developed the child safeguarding toolkit for UEFA member associations and a suite of e-learning courses. The toolkit includes guidance and templates such as codes of conduct, risk assessment tools and safer recruitment procedures that are necessary for putting the child safeguarding policy into practice. The four e-learning courses have been designed to be interactive and will be accompanied by in-depth face-to-face training.
Our e-learning courses:
- The Awareness-raising course outlines the concept of safeguarding and our joint responsibility to make football a safe environment for children.
- The Safeguarding for staff course is suitable for all staff and volunteers, helping them to understand their role in safeguarding, and how they can implement preventative measures and report situations of concern.
- The Safeguarding for coaches course is more specific and covers topics such as recognising signs of abuse, particular risk situations for children in a football environment and how to respond to safeguarding concerns.
- The Child safeguarding focal point course is for professionals appointed as contact for child safeguarding issues.
Both the Toolkit and e-courses are available in English, French, German, and Russian.
A dedicated platform for child safeguarding in football
Tdh and UEFA have also established a digital platform, aiming to improve the knowledge, attitudes and practices of all those involved in football activities with children. It offers e-learning courses, webinars, access to the child safeguarding toolkit and a library of thematic resources, as well as the opportunity to connect and share experiences and expertise among professionals.
Founded in 2007 and backed by UEFA since, SD Europe is the European umbrella organisation that represents and supports member-run clubs and democratic supporters groups that are or want to be involved in the ownership and running of their football clubs.
The organisation supports its members in achieving a meaningful say in the running of their clubs alongside good governance principles: democratic participation, membership, accountability, volunteering, transparency and long-term financial and social sustainability.
SD Europe also facilitates the implementation of the supporter liaison officer (SLO) role at clubs under Article 35 of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations. This work is done together with and on behalf of UEFA. SLOs ensure a proper and constructive discourse with their fans. The SLO role constitutes a landmark in club-supporter relations and emphasises the importance UEFA attaches to dialogue and communication between clubs and fans.
Since 2013, SD Europe has successfully cooperated with UEFA and the European Commission under Erasmus+ and similar EU-funded programmes. Projects have focused on the topics of better governance through supporter involvement.
SD Europe helps supporters from all over Europe to have a central role to play in the governance and sustainability of football today, as well as their place in the stands.
- Helping to increase influence of democratic supporters organisations
- Advising local and national supporters groups, clubs and governing bodies on governance and ownership models
- Facilitating sharing of knowledge and experience among supporter organisations and member-run clubs, particularly on the non-elite, lower league and amateur level
- Encouraging dialogue among the network; between UEFA and its stakeholders, the European Commission and Parliament
- Providing advice and support with the implementation of SLOs to fan groups, national associations, leagues and other stakeholders
- Coordinating European Commission-funded projects, including the current Erasmus+ project LIAISE, a Liaison-based Integrated Approach to Improving Supporter Engagement
- Advising relevant stakeholders on the implementation of Supporter Liaison Officers and UEFA's HatTrick "fan dialogue" projects
SD Europe supports football clubs and like-minded organisations across 40 different countries in Europe, Africa, USA and the Middle East.
Clubs and Supporters for better Governance in Football
Improving Football Governance through Supporter Involvement and Community Ownership
The Heart of the Game: Why supporters are vital to improving governance in football
UEFA/SD Europe SLO handbook
Football Supporters Europe
Social change and the changing nature of modern football, including its continuing commercialisation, have given rise to much tension between supporters and clubs and football authorities. Some social groups and communities within football are experiencing increasing alienation and exclusion from the game, especially in countries and areas where supporters’ consultation and fan dialogue are non-existing or at a minimum.
Football Supporters Europe (FSE) began in 2008 as an international collaboration by fans' organisations to provide "Fans' Embassy" advice, information and support services to fans of national teams at international tournaments.
The partnership between UEFA and FSE allows for dialogue to be fostered between UEFA and fan representatives, and it allows FSE to reinforce its position as a major stakeholder of European football. FSE considers one of its primary achievements to be having formed a stable, democratic and transparent representation of European football fans.
- European Football Fans' Congress (biennial)
- Training workshops
- Mediation between fans and other football stakeholders
More than 80 female supporters from over 20 different European countries were interviewed about their fan identity for FSE's audiovisual Fan.Tastic Females – Football Her.Story exhibition.