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UEFA to mark World Refugee Day 2022


In a tournament to celebrate UEFA-UNHCR relationship, refugees will join teams representing eight nations at UEFA HQ to compete for the UNITY EURO Cup.

UEFA and UNHCR will host a very special tournament later this month as amateur teams from eight nations come together to contest the UNITY EURO Cup.

On Wednesday 29 June, mixed refugee teams from across Europe will converge on UEFA HQ in Switzerland for a friendly competition to demonstrate and celebrate how football’s power to strengthen ties between host communities and displaced people, breaking down barriers and creating a spirit of inclusion.

The preparations for this tournament, which will see teams from Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Malta, the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland in action, are in full swing with each of the squads accompanied by a celebrity ambassador.

The tournament will bring together people from all backgrounds to play football
The tournament will bring together people from all backgrounds to play footballPhoto News

Each team will be composed of 70 per cent refugees and 30 per cent non-refugee players, advocating for how football can strengthen ties between host communities and refugees.

The draw for the tournament, which is a concrete outcome of the UNHCR-UEFA partnership agreement signed last year, will take place on Monday 20 June, World Refugee Day. Football legends Nadine Kessler and Maxwell Scherrer will feature in a special live broadcast to the participating teams.

Michele Uva, Football and Social Responsibility Director:

"In partnership with UNHCR, UEFA aims to help refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people to remain physically and mentally healthy and become part of their host community through the power of football. This is why, since 2017, we have been making funding for refugee support programmes available to our member associations. And this is also why we are really pleased to host the first ever European tournament for teams with refugee players on 29 June."

Announcement of the 2021/22 UEFA Football and Refugees Grant Winners

Also on Monday, UEFA will announce the winners of the 2021/22 Football and Refugee Grant scheme.

Each year, European football’s governing body invites member associations to apply for funding in support of refugee-related projects. This season, 23 associations have submitted proposals, which are evaluated by an independent jury.

Refugees play at the recent UEFA Champions League fan festival in Paris
Refugees play at the recent UEFA Champions League fan festival in ParisUEFA via Getty Images

The jury received a wide range of different approaches, offering playing opportunities, vocational training, support to refugees’ health and well-being, access to labour market and projects benefiting female refugees specifically.

Stay tuned for additional details on the 11 winners!