For the UEFA Foundation for Children, the UEFA Super Cup is much more than the result on the pitch. This is an opportunity to support inspiring local projects and to offer the children involved an evening they will never forget.
The match also provides a platform for messages of inclusion and hope that demonstrate the positive influence of football and how it gives even the most vulnerable children a more positive outlook on life.
“The UEFA Super Cup not only gives football fans across Europe the chance to see the world’s biggest stars in the spectacular season opener, it also gives UEFA and its Children’s Foundation to engage directly with local youth projects.Using the power of our beautiful sport, together we will remain a driving force for positive and lasting change across Europe, raising awareness of children’s problems and overcoming them,” said UEFA President and Chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children, Aleksander Čeferin. “Our Foundation looks forward to working alongside the Football Association of Finland on vital local projects that focus on the well-being of children, simultaneously providing local youngsters with great memories and opportunities to enjoy football.”
“We are very proud and happy that the UEFA Super Cup is taking place in Finland and to see local children taking part in this event. Together with UEFA and its Children’s Foundation, we will provide a life experience unique to young players and raise awareness about disability football,” added Ari Lahti, President of the Football Association of Finland.
The 2022 UEFA Super Cup will highlight the Cerebral palsy (CP) Finnish Football Association which develops its youth section. Four children will be selected to be mascots for Mastercard players lined up alongside Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt players. This unique opportunity means a lot to these young people and motivates them to aim higher and pursue their dreams.
“Children selected for the Super Cup impressed with their enthusiasm and skill at the first football event for young people with cerebral palsy held in May,” said CP Football Project Coordinator Ville Sallinen. . “They are very honored, excited and a little nervous – but in a good way!”
To raise awareness ahead of the UEFA Super Cup night, the Football Association of Finland (SPL) and the CP Football Association will organize a football event for young players with cerebral palsy and professional footballers with and without cerebral palsy. There will be workshops and a demonstration of CP football.
“Football for the disabled has been an important part of Finnish grassroots football for more than 25 years,” said SPL grassroots expert Lasse Keski-Loppi. “We are proud that our grassroots program will be featured in the 2022 UEFA Super Cup. This year our association has launched its own CP football program to promote Football for All in Finland. the Super Cup will give the program the visibility it needs at all levels. This CP program for young people and young talents helps many new young players to participate in football and achieve their footballing dreams. We all share the same game .
Meanwhile, 20 young people from Hearts of Ice Association will play a key role in the opening ceremony, acting as center circle bearers. Icehearts prevents social exclusion, improves social skills and promotes the well-being of vulnerable children.
“When selecting children to participate in the Super Cup, we wanted to reward those who have made special efforts in their studies and who share a real passion for football,” explains Karo Koivunen of Icehearts. “They are thrilled to be part of this magical moment – football is their life!”