After 15 months making a difference to the lives of refugees across Europe, ECA’s €1million Ukraine Relief Fund has delivered on its last round of projects. The ground-breaking fund was announced at the General Assembly in March 2022, by ECA Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, who said the seven-figure sum would be available to support clubs’ efforts in assisting the Ukrainian refugees, while many also offered to find a safe place for Ukrainian young football players.

ECA Chairman told clubs gathered in Vienna that football could be a positive social force to help the Ukrainian people.

Since then, 30 projects have benefited from the fund, which has been managed through an ECA Relief Committee chaired by ECA Vice-Chairman Dariusz Mioduski.

The third and final round of projects were:

  • FC Shakhtar Donetsk
  • FC Vast (Football Club Mykolaiv)
  • FSC Mariupol
  • MFC Metalurg
  • Skoruk FC

Together this means a total of 24 clubs have been part of the innovative scheme, with clubs initially applying for donations of between €25,000 and €50,000. The aim has been to provide real and effective humanitarian and emergency actions to provide support and opportunities for the integration and development of refugees affected by the war.

ECA partnered with the UEFA Foundation for Children in order to implement this humanitarian project, in advance of establishing a dedicated ECA Foundation which is part of the Association’s future plans.

During the initial two rounds of the project, the ECA Ukraine Relief Fund demonstrated its dedication to creating tangible positive change in the lives of Ukrainian refugees. Through the support of the participating member clubs, a diverse range of projects were delivered, including in the four main areas highlighted below:

  • Emergency Humanitarian Assistance: The fund facilitated the distribution of essential supplies, such as food, clean water, clothing, and medical aid, to affected communities. These efforts significantly contributed to easing immediate difficulties.
  • Education and Skill Development: Recognising the significance of education in times of crisis, the fund supported initiatives that provided access to quality education and training for refugee children. These educational programmes aimed to empower individuals with knowledge and skills for a brighter future.
  • Shelter and Infrastructure: The fund played an active role in the construction and renovation of shelters to provide safe living environments for displaced families.
  • Psychosocial Support: Addressing the emotional and psychological impact of displacement, the fund supported therapy services, fostering emotional well-being among those affected.

Commenting on the allocation of the remaining funds to the clubs, Dariusz Mioduski, ECA Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the ECA Relief Committee, said:

“At ECA we are all engaged in assisting clubs and allowing them to continue their excellent work in supporting Ukrainian children and families displaced by this tragic war, started by the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The allocation of the remaining funds to the last five projects is the right moment for me to thank once again all the clubs and individuals involved for their dedication and hard work. In total thirty projects have benefitted from the ECA Ukraine Relief Fund and their work will continue.

“I would also like to thank my colleagues on the ECA Relief Committee for their time and support in delivering this important work. Thanks to their efforts we have been able to contribute and make a difference to those families and individuals whose lives have been so tragically affected by this conflict, which unfortunately is ongoing.”

The list of all the approved projects, including the ones from the third round, are:

  • AC Sparta Praha
  • AS Trencin
  • Athletic Club
  • Celtic FC
  • FC Chikhura Sachkhere
  • FC Shakhtar Donetsk
  • FC Slovan Liberec
  • FC Vast (Football Club Mykolaiv)
  • FC Veres Rivne
  • FC Zimbru
  • FSC Mariupol
  • GNK Dinamo Zagreb
  • Heart of Midlothian FC
  • Legia Warszawa
  • Maccabi Haifa F.C
  • MFC Metalurg
  • Nõmme Kalju FC
  • SJK Seinäjoki
  • SK Slavia Praha
  • SK Slovan Bratislava
  • Skoruk FC
  • Sporting Clube de Portugal
  • Trabzonspor AS
  • Wisla Kraków