In 2018, the EU was home to 22.3 million third-country nationals accounting for 4.4% of the total population. Factors such as cultural differences, language barriers and social stigma can make it particularly challenging for these young people to integrate into their new societies. The increase in migratory flows has reinforced the need to promote active participation of third-country national youth in all aspects of community and societal life. At the same time, members of host communities in Europe need a deeper understanding of the diversity that exists across the continent.


To address these challenges, The UEFA Foundation for Children, with the coordination of streetfootballworld and the support of The European Football for Development Network, have teamed up to launch ‘Football for Unity', a project co-funded by the European Union. Football for Unity will utilise the international platform of the UEFA EURO 2020 to promote a positive image of migration and help create strong incentives that will lead to a more constructive discourse on migration within European host communities.


During the 20-month project period, ‘Football for Unity’ will capacitate local stakeholders to plan, organise and implement seven awareness-raising festivals in parallel to the UEFA EURO 2020. These events will take place in seven host cities of the tournament and focus on the topic of the social inclusion of third-country nationals. The local stakeholder groups will also build on the expertise of actors in each city to plan, organise and implement local legacy sports programmes to incorporate and effectively impact third-country national and host youth participants via opportunities to exchange and interact, in the context of local issues. 


The project will bring together third-country nationals and young people from host communities in Europe to participate in a series of forums and football for inclusion tournaments (using methodologies such as football3) that will demonstrate football’s unique position to promote equality and social inclusion as European values.


Additionally, Football for Unity will enable Pan-European collaboration, cross-border exchange and peer-to-peer learning to support the capacity development of relevant European stakeholders, eager to exchange best practice approaches to adapt and improve their sport-based social inclusion programmes to produce more positive outcomes for third-country nationals in their local communities.



The Core Project Partners are: 


European Commission, Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)

The UEFA Foundation for Children, Switzerland

streetfootballworld, Germany

The European Football for Development Network, Netherlands

FC Nordsjælland, Denmark 

Oltalom, Hungary 

Johan Cruyff Foundation, Netherlands


Sport Against Racism Ireland, Ireland

Street Child United, UK

Liberi Nantes ASD, Italy





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