UEFA and UNHCR are delighted to announce the second edition of the Unity EURO Cup to support refugee access to sport and enhance social inclusion.
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After the resounding success of the first edition of the Unity EURO Cup in Switzerland last year, UEFA and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are proud to use the power of football to strengthen ties between host communities and displaced people once more. This year's Unity EURO Cup will take place at the UEFA Respect Forum on 28 and 29 June, in Frankfurt, Germany.
As part of the UEFA Football Sustainability Strategy 2030, UEFA actively promotes the integration of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced individuals within the host communities through football. Our sport's universal language facilitates inclusion and well-being by bringing diverse individuals together, promoting teamwork and providing a platform for physical activity and social interaction.
UNHCR has developed the UNHCR Sport Strategy – More than a Game - which outlines the role that sports and sports organisations can play in improving the lives of displaced and stateless people and in supporting integration with host communities.
The first Unity EURO Cup, held in 2022, demonstrated the powerful role football can play in bringing people together. This unique tournament gave participants from eight teams the opportunity to represent their host country in an international competition.
This year, 16 teams will compete to become the champions of the Unity EURO Cup 2023, representing Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the European Union.
The seven-a-side tournament, involving more than 170 young people from refugee and host communities, will be played from 09:00 CEST on the premises of SC Weiss-Blau, a local football club in Frankfurt, Germany. The final, to be refereed by Felix Brych, will be played at 18:00 CEST at the DFB Campus, only five minutes away from SC Weiss-Blau’s facilities. The Unity EURO Cup is open to everyone and free to attend, including visitors, from 09:30 to 15:00 CEST.
Each squad will be composed of eight refugee players and three non-refugee players, including at least two women. This is an important opportunity to raise awareness on the power of football in breaking down barriers and creating a spirit of inclusion. Sixteen eminent ambassadors will also be on hand to support their teams.
Who are the tournament ambassadors?
Armenia – Levon Hayrapetyan
Austria – Nadine Prohaska (ex-international player)
Belgium – Mbo Mpenza (ex-international player)
Finland – Panu Autio (ex-international futsal player)
France – to be announced soon
Germany – Célia Šašić (ex-international player and EURO 2024 ambassador)
Italy – Marco Tardelli (FIFA World Cup winner)
Latvia – Emīlija Druviņa (international player)
Malta – Christian Damiano (ex-international player)
Netherlands – Farkhunda Muhtaj (international player) and Rene van Rijswijk (ex- player)
Northern Ireland – Jimmy Nicholl (ex-international player)
Republic of Ireland – Jim Crawford (ex-player)
Spain – Juan Carlos Pedraza (ex-player) and Jesús Paredes (coach)
Switzerland – Dominique Blanc (President of the Swiss FA)
Ukraine – TBC
European Union – MEP Theodoros Zagorakis, MEP Tomasz Frankowski, MEP Matjaž Nemec
Note to media:
Media representatives interested in attending the Unity EURO Cup 2023 are requested to apply for an accreditation by sending an email to email@example.com by Friday 23 June at 18:00 CEST.