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Football

Football players compete in our Middle East-North Africa region, where football is an always popular pastime.

Football (Americans call it soccer) is possibly the world's most popular team sport. It's also Special Olympics' most popular sport. This page draws together football-related information for all of Special Olympics, including news, stories, calendar events and competition results.


300 x 200 football in ireland

Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics football.  View the Football Fact Sheet

Played in just about every country, the sport's success is due to the fact that it can be played by boys, girls, men and women of just about any physical build and ability. Football requires little in the way of specialized equipment and is organized using simple, intuitive rules. 

It's so fundamental to the future of Special Olympics' growth plans that it is the focus of our Global Football initiative.

Football is perfect for Special Olympics Unified Sports, in which people with and without intellectual disabilities play on the same teams. In 2010, Special Olympics held its Unity Cup in connection with the World Cup.

The coming years will see more exciting global and regional football events for Special Olympics.


Football Stories and News


August 31, 2015 | North America: District of Columbia

Special Olympics D.C. to represent D.C. United in Unified Sports soccer match.

By Maria-Nelly Johnson

On Aug. 30, D.C. United, the Red Bulls and Special Olympics partnered to conduct a Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer match between Special Olympics New Jersey and Special Olympics District of Columbia following an MLS regular season match.View Story On Aug. 30, D.C. United, the Red Bulls and Special Olympics partnered to conduct a Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer match between Special Olympics New Jersey and Special Olympics District of Columbia following the MLS regular season match between D.C.United and the Red Bulls Union. Sunday’s Special Olympics match showcased the Unified Sports exchange program that is the cornerstone of the ongoing partnership between MLS and Special Olympics North America. Through the Unified Sports soccer exchange program, Unified soccer teams from MLS cities travel to other MLS markets to receive training from MLS players and coaches, as well as compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts in that MLS market. Unified matches are scheduled in conjunction with MLS club matches, providing MLS fans with an opportunity to witness first-hand, the talents and abilities of Special Olympics soccer players.

About Maria-Nelly Johnson:SODC Staff
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August 14, 2015 | Asia Pacific: American Samoa

Special Olympics Soccer Team Returns with Vast Experience

By Brian Vitolio

The Football Federation of American Samoa's website has a story that starts this way: "I really enjoyed our soccer team and the Special Olympics games in LA,” exclaimed Hanipale Tovale, a member of the Special Olympics American Samoa unified soccer squad.View Story The Football Federation of American Samoa's website has a story that starts this way: "I really enjoyed our soccer team and the Special Olympics games in LA,” exclaimed Hanipale Tovale, a member of the Special Olympics American Samoa unified soccer squad. Special Olympics American Samoa's unified soccer team receiving their 4th place medals at UCLA on August 1, 2015. “We had a lot of fun and I want to go again,” he said with a big smile. The unified soccer squad competed in a four-team competition at the Special Olympics World Games: Los Angeles 2015. The other three teams that competed against American Samoa were eventual gold medal winners Indonesia, Malaysia and bronze winners Philippines.

About Brian Vitolio:Pls see attached link from the Football Federation of American Samoa's website.
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August 14, 2015 | North America: District of Columbia

Special Olympics Unified Sports -- All-Star Soccer Match

By Maria-Nelly Johnson

On Tuesday, July 28, MLS WORKS hosted a Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star soccer match featuring Special Olympics All-Stars from different cities.View Story On Tuesday, July 28, MLS WORKS hosted a Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star soccer match featuring Special Olympics All-Stars from different cities. The two Unified Sports All-Star soccer teams played a two 20-minute halves, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. Special Olympics Unified teams received training from MLS players and coaches. Special Olympics DC Athletes, Taquane Day and Joelle Fret were invited to participate in this event. MLS WORKS and Special Olympics are working together to leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Unified Sports.

About Maria-Nelly Johnson:SODC Staff
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Football Events


Date

Event

Location

Sep 12 - 13 2015

State Soccer and Bocce Competition

Join us September 12-13 in Grand Forks, North Dakota as our athletes compete and show their skill in soccer and bocce competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics North Dakota
Phone:701-746-0331
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Grand Forks, North Dakota
UNITED STATES

September 12, 2015

Southwest Regional Soccer Tournament

Join us on September 12th at Kraft Meadows Middle School in Caledonia, Michigan. This event features athletes from across Michigan's Southwest Region competing in 5 on 5, 7 on 7 and Unified Divisions. Opening Ceremonies kick off at 8:30 am with competition to follow beginning at 9:00 am.
For more information
Nick Caudle
Email:caudl1n@cmich.edu
Phone:616-583-1202
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Kraft Meadows Middle School
9230 Kraft Ave. SE

Caledonia, Michigan
UNITED STATES

September 13, 2015

State Soccer and Bocce Competition

Join us September 13th in Olathe, Kansas as our athletes compete and show their skill in soccer and bocce competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Kansas
Phone:913-236-9290
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Olathe, Kansas
UNITED STATES

September 13, 2015

Northern Region Soccer Tournament

Join us on September 13 at the Roscommon Rotary Soccer Fields in Roscommon, Michigan as our athletes compete in the all-day Soccer Tournament. Hope to see you there!
For more information
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Roscommon Rotary Soccer Fields
Roscommon, Michigan
UNITED STATES

September 14, 2015

Northern Maine Soccer Tourney

Join us September 14th at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle, Maine as our athletes compete and show their skill in soccer competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Maine
Phone:207-879-0489
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Northern Maine Community College
Presque Isle, Maine
UNITED STATES

September 27, 2015

Kansas State Soccer & Bocce Tournament

Join us on September 27th at Lone Elm Park in Olathe, Kansas as our athletes compete in 5-a-side soccer, bocce singles, bocce doubles and bocce team. Cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. We hope to see you there! For more details please refer to the link and contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Tim Rehder
Email:rehdert@ksso.org
Phone:913-236-9290
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Lone Elm Park
21151 W 167th St

Olathe, Kansas
UNITED STATES

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Football/Soccer Competitions

2014 European Summer Games

The Special Olympics European Summer Games featured 10 sports and 58 delegations, making the 2014 Games one of the largest ever. See stories and results


2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.


2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.


2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.


How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

LEARN MORE»

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Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »


Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »



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