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UEFA renews Europe-wide commitment to football in schools

About UEFA Members Grassroots

UEFA Executive Committee approves €11 million investment between 2024 and 2028.

Children in Slovenia play at a UEFA Football in Schools event
Children in Slovenia play at a UEFA Football in Schools event UEFA via Getty Images

In support of grassroots football development, the UEFA Executive Committee has approved a further €11 million investment into the successful Football in Schools programme, extending its reach and impact for four more years from 2024-2028.

This substantial funding boost comes as a continuation of the programme that launched in 2020, which has since ensured that almost three million more children across Europe have access to playing the sport.

The UEFA Football in Schools programme has been pivotal in fostering a love for the beautiful game among school children and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. By creating an environment that encourages children to play football, UEFA aims to instil important values such as fair play, respect, teamwork and leadership from a young age. This investment reaffirms UEFA's commitment to building the foundation of football at the grassroots level, increasing participation, and enriching young lives through sports.

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin meets children at a Football in Schools event in Chisinau, Moldova
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin meets children at a Football in Schools event in Chisinau, MoldovaUEFA via Getty Images

The programme's primary objective is to support school football projects across Europe, ensuring that children have access to the sport, regardless of their background or location. It emphasises forging strong partnerships between national and regional football associations, education authorities and schools throughout Europe, with the ultimate goal of enabling more children to benefit from the values and life skills that the game develops.

UEFA's commitment to grassroots football

The renewed investment in the Football in Schools initiative is a critical component of UEFA's broader grassroots football programme, reflecting the governing body's unwavering dedication to nurturing the sport at all levels.

On Tuesday, 80 boys and girls involved with the programme will play alongside UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and a group of footballing legends in Limassol, Cyprus ahead of the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in the city that afternoon. The event comes during UEFA Grassroots Week, which shines a light on players', referees' and coaches' stories from within the amateur game.

Football in Schools' impact over the past four years has been significant, with thousands of schools and millions of children benefiting from its activities. The extension of funding until 2028 is expected to magnify this impact even further, creating a lasting legacy for European football.

UEFA Football in Schools in Europe: 2020 - 2023

- National associations investing in school football: 55
- Children taking part: 2.8 million+
- Schools running activities: 81,000+
- Teachers trained 64,000+
- Total investment: €24m+
UEFA: €11m / Associations: €6.5m+ / Governments and other institutions: €6.5m

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