Teams from the European Amputee Football Federation have played at the UEFA Champions Festival, on the same pitch that earlier welcomed some of the legends of the game.
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After showcasing their skills in Berlin last year, the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) have returned to the UEFA Champions Festival in Milan with two new sides – the national teams of Italy and France.
The talented players were given a boost before kick-off as they had just met football legends, including Roberto Carlos, Cafu, and Marcel Desailly, who starred in the Ultimate Champions match just before them.
Simon Baker, EAFF Secretary General, shared his views on the event:
"It is a great honour for the EAFF to play an international game on a platform such as the UEFA Champions League Festival 2016 in Milan. It is very important for us and for all our players to be a part of this great football family and to feel that football is really for all.
"Players at this level are very professional: they train very hard, like any player who gets the chance to represent his country – it is a very proud moment. What better way to inspire other amputees to get involved? Events like this are a great platform for our sport to be showcased, and to help with future sponsors, which are essential to the development of our game. We cannot thank UEFA enough for their support."
EAFF has 15 member countries: England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, Belgium, Georgia, Netherlands, Scotland, and Greece. It gained UEFA support in April 2015 at the inaugural congress of the Federation and has now become an active social responsibility partner of UEFA.
The UEFA Champions Festival 2016 runs until Sunday 29 May between Piazza del Duomo and Castello Sforzesco in Milan. Music, football and big-screen entertainment is on the programme.
To find out more about the UEFA Football and Social Responsibility programme, read the 2014/15 season's report.