SPECIAL OLYMPICS EURO 2012 MATCH ENDS IN A DRAW

June 22, 2012

Display of skill and fair play at Special Olympics Showcase match before UEFA Quarter-final

300x200 group

Showcase Match

National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland: After months of training and preparations finally the day arrived. Special Olympics footballers from two Polish teams, (Łęczyca and Leszno), ran onto the pitch of Warsaw’s National Stadium to play a 7-a-side exhibition match on invitation of UEFA just before the Quarter-final between Portugal and Czech Republic. There was no shortage of emotions or skill. “It's a pleasure to referee this match. A great exhibition of fair play," said international referee and former President of the Polish Football Association, Michal Listkiewicz.


300x200 Cezary

Cezary Pazura, film star and UEFA Respect Ambassador, in action during the match

Ambassadors

Ramping up the excitement and energy were
Polish radio presenters and match commentators Michal Figurski and Michal Olszański. They both addressed the crowd and spoke about Special Olympics and the game they were about to see. “Today’s exhibition match is about showing respect for footballers with disabilities. These Special Olympics footballers have trained hard for this match,“ said Figurski. Two very special guests, and Ambassadors for UEFA Euro 2012 Respect Inclusion, played on each side: former Polish striker Roman Kosecki plays for Leszno and Polish film star and amateur footballer Cezary Pazura plays for Łęczyca.


300x200 roman

Roman Kosecki, former Polish National team captain and UEFA Respect Ambassador, celebrates scoring the first goal of the match with Leszno team-mates

Fans Support

Both teams were led onto the pitch by referee Michal Listkiewicz as each player's name was introduced to the crowd: “For team Leszno we have Szkudlarczyk, Marcinkowski, Nowakowski, Nowakowski, Winkhof, Wolsztyniak and Kosecki. On the substitute bench will sit Lipowicz, Sauer, Pawelczak, and Kapala. Coaches for Leszno are Karol Swiatek and Tomasz Mikolajczyk. For Leczyca we have Cabaj, Kazmierczak, Kazmierczak, Szalowski, Smuga, Olejniczak, Pazura. The reserve players are: Przepiora, Wisniewski, Manowski and Kołodziejczak. The team is led by Maciej Piszczalowski and Hanna Matusiak”. Thunderous applause welcomed tthe players and Kosecki and Pazura.

 


300x200 press

Pazura signs t-shirts at the press conference

Press Conference

Earlier in the day both Ambassador Kosecki and Pazura along with Special Olympics players and match officials attended a packed press conference to announce details of the game. Major names froms Football in Poland and further field attended as well as partners and representatives of the Respect Inclusion campaign, including CROSS, FARE, CAFE and FSE. The Polish Minister of Sport and Tourism, Ms Joanna Mucha also attended and wished both sides the best of luck.


300x200 stemp

Łęczyca players celebrate scoring a magnificent equaliser!

Action on the Pitch

Back to the National stadium and referee blew the whistle to kick off the first half. Leszno dominate Leczyca, but captain Marcinkowski does not use all the opportunities at hand. Kosecki tries an offensive game, but Pazura is more effective.

“I hope we’ll win but the real victory today will be our purpose and message: Respect for people with intellectual disabilities,” – said Cezary Pazura during the half-time break for Figurski’s questions.
Leszno captain, Marcinkowski, who could have given his team the lead, was visibly upset. “I had two chances, but I missed. Hard luck. In the second half, this won’t happen again and we will win,” the tired player from Leszno gasps into the mircophone.

 

 

 


300x200 pitch hug

Equaliser

He does not throw words to the wind and at the beginning of the second half he passes the ball well to Roman Kosecki, who with a short corner shot beats Cabaj. The real masterstroke was the next perpendicular pass by Marcinkowski. The ball flies a few dozen meters, finds a place among defenders from Leczyca who were helplessly trying to intervene, and reaches an unwatched Kosecki. All he has to do was score and will the help of Cabaj score he does. He receives thunderous applause.
Game is not over till final whistle and this time it was not different. The confusion in the penalty area of Leszno is so great that a few defenders do not keep an eye on Damian Kazmierczak, who defeats Szkudlarczyk to score the equalizer for Łęczyca.


300x200 kosa

Result

The 2x7 minute match finishes in a 1:1 draw and the fans gave the players a standing ovation throughout the stadium.  After hitting the showers, the players took their seats to enjoy the quarter-final between Portugal and the Czech Republic. A goal by Cristiano Ronaldo ensures Portugal's place in the semi-final.

Ends/


Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 220 worldwide locations.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Our Supporters

The Christmas Records TrustFunding Special Olympics work worldwide.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Annenberg FoundationSupports our goals for coaches’ excellence.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Bank of AmericaSupports Special Olympics Team USA.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Coca-ColaOfficial global partner of Special Olympics.
Learn More »


Our Supporters

ESPNWorldwide support for Unified Sports.Learn More »


Our Supporters

EssilorOfficial global supplier of ophthalmic lenses.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Health One GlobalGlobal health data technology partner.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Hear the WorldSupplies hearing aids to our athletes.Learn More »


Our Supporters

AIPSGlobal Impact Partner for Special Olympics.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Lions ClubSupports access to quality eye care.Learn More »


Our Supporters

MattelSupports various youth programs.Learn More »


Our Supporters

MTM RecognitionSupplier of awards and medals for our athletes.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Perfect Sense DigitalSpecial Olympics' leading digital partner.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Procter & GambleProvides marketing campaigns that support our athletes.Learn More »


Our Supporters

SafewayRaises funds and awareness for people with disabilities.Learn More »


Our Supporters

SàfiloSupplies optical frames and sunglasses.Learn More »


Our Supporters

UNICEFProvides greater inclusion of children with disabilities.Learn More »


Our Supporters

Y&RPowering our global youth marketing campaign.Learn more »


Special Olympics Blog

Bursting with Pride

"I’m looking forward to the day when Mary will become a Special Olympics Young Athlete. I cannot wait."read more »

Posted on 2014-07-25 by Ryan

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan