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May 29, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Portugal

Portuguese players "Football for All" matches at UEFA Champions Festival in Lisbon

By Pedro Serra

"Its great to play in front of so many spectators here in Lisbon. I have many years experience in Special Olympics and I will not get tired to be with and to play with my SO friends, whatever sport or activity it is”, said Ruben Carreiras, SO athlete, getting ready for 2015 SO World Games in LA.

UEFA has offered its platform to Special Olympics, as part of Grassroots Day to promote "Football for All", respect and inclusion at Champions Festival in Lisbon. 60 athletes from Special Olympics Portugal, come from institutions of Cercica, o Colégio Eduardo Claparede, A Fundação LIGA e o Colégio as Descobertas and associated local clubs to play football on 22nd and 24th May at Praça do Comércio, Fan Zone prepared for UEFA Champions League final Real-Atlético Madrid. On Thursday, 4 teams showcased in mini tournament, then on Saturday the Special Olympics UNIFIED SPORTS demonstration matches took place, for teams composed of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from the Associação de Moradores da Portela. Both events were watched by Special Olympics Portugal President - José Eugénio Dias Ferreira and thousands of visitors. For many of players it was first public experience ever, but some athletes used it as practice before 2014 Special Olympics European Games in Antwerp. Special Olympics is UEFA's Social Responsibility partner since 1998.

About Pedro Serra: Sports Director, Special Olympics Portugal

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