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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


July 14, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Sweden

The Kim Källström Trophy for Special Olympics kicks off at The Gothia Cup

By Suzanne Coogan

Kim Källström watches the action on Day 1 of the Kim Källström Trophy 2015, Sweden

Great football action has kicked off in Sweden for the 5th ‘Kim Källström Trophy’ for Special Olympics. The Special Olympics European 7-a-side football tournament is officially part of The Gothia Cup, the World Youth Cup running until July 16th.View Story Great football action has kicked off in Sweden for the 5th ‘Kim Källström Trophy’ for Special Olympics. The Special Olympics European 7-a-side football tournament is officially part of The Gothia Cup, the World Youth Cup running until July 16th. The Kim Källström Trophy gives Special Olympics athletes the opportunity to be included in the world’s largest youth football tournament which is held annually in Gothenburg. The tournament is the brainchild of top Swedish national player Kim Källström and is possible through the generous co-operation of the Gothia Cup and Special Olympics Sweden. Kim Källström proactively took the initiative to provide an opportunity for young people with an intellectual disability to be part of the Gothia Cup by including a Special Olympics category. This year is the biggest year yet with 32 male and female teams from 11 nations. Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, France, Ukraine, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Denmark and host country Sweden.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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June 25, 2015 | North America: Michigan

Basketball and soccer rocks

By Kelly Jacobs

Hi my name is Kelly Jacobs. I'm 40 years old and I am one of the athletes of Special Olympics. I enjoy basketball and soccer.View Story Hi my name is Kelly Jacobs. I'm 40 years old and I am one of the athletes of Special Olympics. I enjoy basketball and soccer. I like basketball because you meet new people and we go up to states in Rockford . The coaches are very cool. Thank you Kelly Jacobs

About Kelly Jacobs:I like to read watch movies and hang out with friends
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June 23, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Turkey

'We are a happy family'

By Serkan Ovatman

Fatma Ulku Koseoglu, her daughter Kubra and son Ahmet,who plays on an inclusive sports team in Kayseri, Turkey.

The inclusive inclusive sports project in Turkey funded by the King Baudouin Foundation is getting a thumbs up from parents who see their children flourish on Unified Recreation football teams.View Story The inclusive inclusive sports project in Turkey funded by the King Baudouin Foundation is getting a thumbs up from parents who see their children flourish on Unified Recreation football teams. Six hundred children, between 8 and 12, are playing on Unified teams during the 18-month project that is also supported by the Turkish Football Association. Families reported that their children with intellectual disabilities were happier and had an activity that they looked forward to participating in every week. For example, Fatma Ulku Koseoglu, from Kayseri, whose son Ahmet, age 12, is an athlete, said: “Ahmet preferred staying at home and watching TV. He did not want to go to school or play with other children. Once he joined the Unified team, it changed his life. Now, he enjoys being part of the team, attending training, making friends and being active. We are a happy family because of this project.” Ahmet’s sister, Kubra, age 6, likes to come with her mother to watch her brother play.

About Serkan Ovatman:Serkan Ovatman is the sports director assistant, Special Olympics Turkey, and national coordinator of the inclusive sports project funded by the King Baudouin Foundation and supported by the Turkish Football Association.
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Football Events


Date

Event

Location

August 18, 2015

Coaches Training - Soccer

Join us on August 18th for a soccer coaches training. The venue is to be to be determined. To register please use the link below. If you have further questions please contact Kellie Murphy at murph4kj@cmich.edu
For more information
More Details
Kellie Murphy
Email:murph4kj@cmich.edu
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
UNITED STATES

August 24, 2015

Coaches Training - Soccer

Join us on August 24th for a soccer coaches training online webinar. Attendance in Mount Pleasant is not needed. To register please use the link below. If you have further questions please contact Kellie Murphy at murph4kj@cmich.edu
For more information
More Details
Kellie Murphy
Email:murph4kj@cmich.edu
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Webinar
Mount Pleasant, MIchigan
UNITED STATES

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

Do you have an event to add?

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

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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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