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


September 15, 2014 | SOI: Europe-Eurasia

Soccer Star Launches Special Olympian Of The Year Campaign

By Suzanne Coogan

Campaign Poster for Special Olympian of the Year Award

Special Olympics Belgium Ambassador Red Devils soccer star Kevin De Bruyne has launched a new campaign calling for permanent recognition of the talents and skills of Special Olympics athletes.View Story Special Olympics Belgium Ambassador Red Devils soccer star Kevin De Bruyne has launched a new campaign calling for permanent recognition of the talents and skills of Special Olympics athletes through a new award to be presented at the prestigious annual Belgium Sports Gala of the Year Awards. The Awards are broadcast to a significant television audience every year in December. Top Belgian sportspeople are honoured in six different categories: sports male, sports female, young talent, coach, team and paralympic athlete of the year. De Bruyne is calling for an additional category - Special Olympics athlete of the year. “Why would we not give athletes with an intellectual disability the same credit as the other athletes?” stated De Bruyne. De Bruyne is asking the world to support his campaign by liking and sharing his video message on SpecialOlympianOfTheYear.be The Special Olympics European Games run until Sept 20 in Antwerp involving 2,000 athletes from 58 countries.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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September 11, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Bharat (India)

Special Olympics And Tottenham Hotspur Foundation Creating Sporting Opportunities In India

By Karyn Tan

Special Olympics Bharat and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation are delivering a project that will improve the quality of football coaching in India for people with intellectual disabilities.View Story Special Olympics Bharat and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation are delivering a project that will improve the quality of football coaching in India for people with intellectual disabilities. This unique two-stage project involves the foundation delivering quality coaching for more than 2,000 Special Olympics Bharat football coaches in India. The partnership is driven by a common goal to create social change through the power of sport. Supported by the English Premier League, this project will see 30,000 people with intellectual disabilities across India gain access to the sport.

About Karyn Tan:Communications Manager for the Asia Pacific region
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August 19, 2014 | Africa: Malawi

Play Soccer Malawi Federation supports our athletes

By Mr Felix Chisowa

Special Olympics provide a gateway to empowerment, fulfillment and joy. Our work would not be possible without our donors and supporters. Play Soccer Malawi Federation’s donation of 420 soccer balls is a great example of how organizations can help increase Special Olympics’ reach and impact.View Story Special Olympics provide a gateway to empowerment, fulfillment and joy. Our work would not be possible without our donors and supporters. Play Soccer Malawi Federation’s donation of 420 soccer balls is a great example of how organizations can help increase Special Olympics’ reach and impact with their support. Play Soccer Malawi Federation’s donation is helping Special Olympics Malawi to reach its goal of increasing their number of athletes and competitions and by providing much needed equipment to carry out competitions.

About Mr Felix Chisowa :Special Olympics Malawi National Director
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Football Events


Date

Event

Location

Sep 16 - 17 2014

Unified Team Football Competition

Join us on 16-17 September 2014 at Rattu in Ranchi, Jharkhand for two days of Unified Team Competition in Football as athletes and Unified partners from the area compete on the pitch to promote social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. ESPN is the global presenting sponsor of Unified Sports.
For more information
View More

Rattu
Ranchi, Jharkhand
INDIA

September 20, 2014

EKS Day Vietnam Memorial

Join us on September 9th as we celebrate Eunice Kennedy Shriver's legacy while hosting a Unified Sports 5-a-side Soccer match in Hochiminh City, Vietnam. For more details, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
Tuan Do
Email:tdo@specialolympics.org
Phone:+84 915079669
View More

Hochiminh City
VIETNAM

Sep 26 - 28 2014

State Fall Games

Nearly 1,800 Special Olympics Michigan athletes from all across the state will converge on southeast Michigan for the inaugural Special Olympics Michigan State Fall Games, September 26-28. Athletes will compete in Flag Football and Cycling at the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Soccer at Independence Park in Canton, Softball at the Canton Softball Complex, and Golf at Eagle Crest Golf Course in Ypsilanti. Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be a part of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Ann Arbor Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. Along with winning gold at the 2014 Olympics, the pair captured silver at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and were World Champions in 2011 and 2013. This past spring, the Michigan natives competed against each other on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars where Davis teamed up with professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy to win the Mirror Ball Trophy. In addition to athletic competition there will also be a Young Athletes Festival for children ages 2-7 with intellectual disabilities and a Healthy Athletes Village where athletes will receive free health screenings.
For more information
See Schedule of Events
Aaron Mills
Email:aaron.mills@somi.org
Phone:(989) 774-4393
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Marriott Ann Arbor Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest
1275 S Huron St,

Ypsilanti, Michigan
UNITED STATES

September 27, 2014

Special Olympics Idaho Area 3-4 Fall Invitational

Join us on September 27th for the Area 3-4 Fall Invitational. Sports will include: Unified, soccer, bocce, golf, and softball. Softball and bocce will be hosted at Ann Morrison Park, soccer will be hosted at Nampa Job Corp and golf at Ridgecrest golf course.
For more information
Jenifer Gardner
Email: JENNIFER@IDSO.ORG
Phone:208-859-8198
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Area 3-4 Fall Invitational
Various Venues

Nampa, Boise , Idaho
UNITED STATES

September 27, 2014

Special Olympics Unified Match DC United

Join Special Olympics for a fun filled day of soccer on September 27th as D.C. United takes on the Philadelphia Union. Immediately following the match, D.C. United will be hosting a unified soccer match between Special Olympics Pennsylvania and Special Olympics D.C. Hope to see you there!
For more information
Jake Lucas
Email:wlucas@dcunited.com
Phone:2162241946
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RFK Stadium
1627 Lamont St NW

Washington, District of Columbia
UNITED STATES

September 27, 2014

Unified Team Basketball and Football Competition

Join us on 27 September 2014 at Anand Training Centre at Joseph School in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh for a day of Unified Team Competition in Basketball and Football as athletes and Unified partners from the area compete on the court and pitch to promote social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. ESPN is the global presenting sponsor of Unified Sports.
For more information
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Anand Training Centre at Joseph School
Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
INDIA

September 29, 2014

Recreational Unified Football

Join us on 29 September 2014 in at Jyothinilayam Public School, Thumba, Thiruvanathapuram in Trivandrum, Kerala for a day of recreational Unified football as athletes and Unified partners from the area compete on the pitch to promote social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. ESPN is the global presenting sponsor of Unified Sports.
For more information
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Jyothinilayam Public School, Thumba, Thiruvanathapuram
Trivandrum, Kerala
INDIA

Oct 10 - 12 2014

Special Olympics Bangladesh National Games

Special Olympics Bangladesh’s National Games will welcome an estimated 800 athletes and 100 Unified Sports® partners across Bangladesh. Ten sports will be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cricket, football, handball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. The three day event will be held across different venues: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Army Stadium, National Indoor Stadium & Swimming pool and the Bangladesh Sports Education Institute (BKSP).
For more information
Faruqul Islam
Email:sobangla@gmail.com
Phone:+880 1819 259844
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Bangabandhu National Stadium & other venuesDhaka
BANGLADESH

Oct 10 - 11 2014

South Carolina Fall Games

Join us from October 10-11 at Pavilion Recreation Complex in Taylors, South Carolina as athletes from all over the state will be competing in Under 21 bocce, masters bowling, disc golf, flag football, volleyball, tennis, golf and soccer. Hope to see you there.
For more information
Kelly Garrick
Email:kgarrick@so-sc.org
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Pavilion Recreation Complex
400 Scottswood Road

Taylors, South Carolina
UNITED STATES

October 19, 2014

Unified Soccer Assessment Round - South Section

Join us on October 19th at Plymouth Street Fields in Mansfield, Massachusetts for an exciting day of Unified soccer. Registration opens at 8am with competition lasting from 10am-2pm. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Sam Baglioni
Email:sam.baglioni@specialolympicsma.org
Phone:508-821-3635
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Plymouth Street Fields
50 Plymouth Street

Mansfield, Massachusetts
UNITED STATES

October 20, 2014

School Unified Soccer Tournament

Join us for the 2014 School Unified Soccer Tournament on October 20th at West Rutland School in West Rutland, Vermont. This competition will include athletes and Unified partners from schools from throughout Vermont. This tournament will feature 5 a side football matches as well as an individual skills competition. Come and witness all the sports excitement.
For more information
More Details
Chris Langevin
Email:clangevin@vtso.org
Phone:802-863-5222
View More

West Rutland School
713 Main St

West Rutland, Vermont
UNITED STATES

October 20, 2014

2014 School Unified Soccer Tournament

Join us for the 2014 School Unified Soccer Tournament Monday, October 20th at West Rutland School in West Rutland, Vermont. This competition will include schools from throughout Vermont. Athletes and partners will compete in 5 per side team soccer or individual skills. For more details, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
Chris Langevin
Email:clangevin@vtso.org
Phone:802-863-5222
View More

West Rutland School
713 Main St.

West Rutland, Vermont
UNITED STATES

October 20, 2014

Special Olympics National Games 2014 Melbourne

The 10th Special Olympics Australia National Games will involve more than 1,200 athletes of all levels competing in 16 Olympic and demonstration sports and events. These Games offer the opportunity for athletes to be selected to represent Australia at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. For the majority of competitors, the National Games in Melbourne represents the culmination of four years of competing at local, regional and state level. Competing in the same world-class venues as their Olympic heroes, our Special Olympics athletes will perform in front of their proud parents, friends, supporters and the wider community. Athletes of all abilities will compete in 16 Olympic style sports including AFL and netball as demonstration sports across iconic sporting venues in Melbourne. Other special events include: Healthy Athletes Program, Young Athlete Program (2–7 year old), Athlete Leadership & Ambassador Program, Family Functions Social Outing, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Opening and Closing Ceremonies
For more information
More Details
Robyn Cooper
Email:robync@specialolympics.com.au
View More

Lakeside Stadium & various venuesMelbourne
AUSTRALIA

Nov 1 - 3 2014

Special Olympics Nippon National Summer Games Fukuoka 2014

Athletes from all over Japan will come to the city of Fukuoka for the 2014 Special Olympics Fukuoka Games to participate in 3 days of competition in 12 sports. Athletes will compete in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, football, golf, gymnastics, table tennis, volleyball and equestrian.
For more information
More Details
Sayaka Sonobe
Email:tokyo_office@son.or.jp
View More

Multiple locations, Fukuoka
Fukuoka , Kyushu
JAPAN

Nov 1 - 6 2014

South East Asia Unified Football Tournament

Join us 1-6 November 2014 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam as athletes and Unified partners from around the Asia Pacific region compete six days of exiting 5-a-side Unified football competition. Teams that will be participating in the tournament hail from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and host Brunei Darussalam.
For more information
View More

Bandar Seri Begawan
Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

November 02, 2014

2014 Soccer Championships

Join us on 2 November 2014 at the Crowne Sports Center in Eden, Maryland as athletes and Unified partners from around the state will compete in one full day of soccer competition. Events will include: Individual Skills Competition; Player Development Unified, 7 v. 7; Traditional Team Competition, 7 v. 7 (Young Adult and Senior Teams); Traditional Team Competition, 5 v. 5 (Elem., Middle, and High School Teams) ; Unified Team Competition, 7 v. 7 (Young Adult and Senior Teams); Unified Team Competition, 5 v. 5 (Elem., Middle, and High School Teams). For schedule details, please refer to link below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
View More

Crowne Sports Center
28410 Crown Rd

Eden, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Nov 8 - 9 2014

Virginia State Fall Championships

Fall Championships is one of Special Olympics Virginia's state level competitions, held at the end of the fall season in Virginia Beach. Approximately 1,000 Special Olympics athletes from across Virginia are selected to go for the gold in bowling, bocce, golf, volleyball, roller skating, and soccer competitions. Fall Championships also features a Saturday evening Opening Ceremony, where we light the Flame of Hope to "open" the Championships, followed by a Victory Dance - a favorite of both our athletes and volunteers!
For more information
More Details
Gray Miller
Email:gmiller@specialolympicsva.org
View More

Various Virginia Beach Venues
Virginia Beach, Virginia
UNITED STATES

Dec 14 - 15 2014

Southern California Fall Games

Be inspired by athletic determination and courage. Come cheer on more than 1,100 athletes from across Southern California as they compete for gold, silver, and bronze medals and ribbons at Fall Games. The Games will feature our six fall/winter sports — bowling, floor hockey, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Fall Games, one of our largest competitions, is the second of two Southern California competitions held every year.
For more information
More Details
View More

Fountain Valley and Irvine
Fountain Valley and Irvine, California
UNITED STATES

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
Email:info@la2015.org
Phone:213-892-6018
View More

Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California
UNITED STATES

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Tell us about it so we can publish the details to our calendar.

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Football/Soccer Competitions

2014 European Summer Games


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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