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2023/24 UEFA Grassroots Awards: honouring Europe's community champions

Grassroots About UEFA Members

Clubs, national associations and initiatives from Armenia, England, Italy, Kazakhstan and Slovakia have been recognised for their work in developing community football.

The 2023/24 UEFA Grassroots Awards

The UEFA Grassroots Awards are annual awards given to grassroots football clubs and projects that have made a positive impact on the game across Europe.

This year’s winners all exemplify outstanding contributions to their communities and the game of football, from supporting children in orphanages in Kazakhstan to developing the education of young female footballers in Italy.

Last week, all five winners attended a ceremony at UEFA HQ in Nyon, where they were presented with their awards by Laura Georges, former France international and general secretary of the French Football Federation (FFF), and representatives from UEFA grassroots partner EA Sports FC, who this year are funding each winner with a €10,000 prize to continue their fantastic work.

Grassroots Award winners gathered at UEFA HQ last week
Grassroots Award winners gathered at UEFA HQ last weekUEFA

"It’s an immense privilege to be here – to hear from and celebrate all of UEFA Grassroots Award winners and their incredible sporting initiatives in communities across Europe. We’re proud to be the official partner of these awards, as part of our broader relationship between the UEFA grassroots programme and EA Sports FC Futures, and are excited to present each winner with a €10,000 award – to further contribute to the fantastic work being carried out."

David Jackson, vice president of brand at EA Sports FC

"The importance of grassroots football stems from considering everyone. It's important to develop football for young girls, for people with disabilities, migrants, refugees and so on. Football must be inclusive and welcoming to everyone. It is one of the best ways to emancipate youth and make them feel like they can succeed. That’s why grassroots football is important."

Laura Georges, FFF general secretary

Best professional club: FC DAC 1904 (Slovakia)

FC DAC 1904’s Kukkonia Liga project is bringing local communities and organisations from across an ethnically diverse region together through grassroots football initiatives, including festivals, educational workshops and coach development sessions.

Learn more about the best professional club

Best amateur club: GOALS (Armenia)

GOALS – the Girls of Armenia Leadership Sports Educational Foundation – gives girls in Armenia the chance to change historical and cultural norms through grassroots football. It has been providing football activities for girls aged 10–17 since 2016, aiming to promote gender equality through sport.

Learn more about the best amateur club

Best education initiative: Calcio+15 (Italy)

The Italian Football Federation’s (FIGC) Calcio+15 programme is equipping women and girls with the knowledge and skills to follow their footballing dreams, whether as players or off the pitch, through a strategy of holistic education.

Learn more about the best education initiative

Best disability initiative: Disability support package for clubs (England)

Research conducted by the English Football Association (FA) has led to a new package of support for disabled people in grassroots football, involving a digital toolkit and face-to-face workshops for clubs, and the establishment of a new network of specialist disability ambassadors.

Learn more about the best disability initiative

Best participation initiative: Football festivals for children from orphanages (Kazakhstan)

The Kazakhstan Football Federation (KFF) is giving hundreds of children from orphanages around Kazakhstan the opportunity to take part in dedicated football festivals, promoting inclusion and participation, physical and mental well-being, and the joy of the game.

Learn more about the best participation initiative

How are the UEFA Grassroots Award winners chosen?

Candidates are nominated by Europe’s national football associations, with the winners selected by UEFA’s Development and Technical Assistance Committee following recommendations from UEFA’s Grassroots Panel. Since their launch in 2010, 142 UEFA Grassroots Awards have been presented to winners from 42 UEFA member associations.

More about grassroots football in Europe

As the foundation of the game, grassroots football is at the heart of our mission. Not only is it vital to the long-term health and growth of football, it is also a vehicle for positive impact on wider society.

We believe that grassroots football should be a safe environment and experience for all involved, and that it is open to everyone irrespective of age, ability, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal trait.

We are engaged with a range of partnerships and development programmes and tools – such as the UEFA Grassroots Charter and UEFA C diploma for grassroots coaches – to help individuals and organisations grow, develop and support grassroots football across Europe.

UEFA Grassroots and EA Sports FC

This year, the UEFA Grassroots Awards were presented in partnership with EA Sports FC, as part of the broader partnership between the UEFA grassroots programme and EA Sports FC Futures.

FC Futures is EA Sports' grassroots initiative to meaningfully invest in community-level football on a global scale, inspiring the love of football and growing the game through purpose-driven initiatives.

An ambition of FC Futures is to democratise access to online training practices, and UEFA and EA Sports FC have collaborated to deliver this. The FC Futures Acdemy is an online, free-to-access library of drills, translated into six languages, that combines EA Sports FC 24 skill games footage and expert knowledge from UEFA coaches to create bitesize videos for players and coaches to use in their real-life training sessions. By blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds of football, it hopes to provide an innovative way to drive participation in the game.