UEFA's strong commitment to tending football's grassroots – and to helping its member national associations develop their specific grassroots activities – now sees all 53 UEFA member associations having joined the UEFA Grassroots Charter.
The associations of Bulgaria and Kazakhstan have signed the charter at one-star level. The charter, created in 2004, represents an endorsement of European FAs' grassroots programmes. Over the past eight years, UEFA and the associations have worked in tandem to ensure that grassroots football across Europe continues to blossom, and to show that football is open to all.
UEFA is motivating and supporting its associations in reinforcing grassroots initiatives, and signing the charter means a country has satisfied certain minimum criteria, affording them entry at foundation level.
The top echelon of the UEFA Grassroots Charter is premier level, for associations with the full complement of seven stars. Stars are awarded in relation to excellence in specific grassroots areas, such as social projects including disability football, number of participants, nurturing of women's and girls' football, and promotion of the grassroots game.
UEFA's viewpoint is that without a healthy grassroots game, the elite level cannot flourish. In addition to the work undertaken under the auspices of the UEFA Grassroots Charter, one day in May is given over to UEFA Grassroots Day, featuring activities staged throughout the continent, with the associations playing a full role. Furthermore, those whose efforts have helped the grassroots to grow are recognised with UEFA Grassroots Day Awards, for the best grassroots leaders, projects and clubs.
The fourth UEFA Grassroots Day will be held on 22 May this year, with the focal point of the celebrations being the UEFA Champions Festival in London, three days before the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, and on the eve of the UEFA Women's Champions League final at Stamford Bridge.
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