**Update: 17 March, 2020. Following UEFA’s announcement today that UEFA EURO 2020 will not take place this summer, coupled with government’s latest advice that led to all grassroots football being suspended for the foreseeable future, THE FA FIVES has been postponed. It's hoped that it can be rescheduled in line with the tournament.**
A new national five-a-side football festival is aiming to get people from all backgrounds active this summer as part of the UEFA EURO 2020 legacy project.
THE FA FIVES will see events take place at more than 120 locations around the country in May, with successful sides progressing to Regional Festival Finals at the end of the month, ahead of National Finals preceding the start of EURO 2020 in June.
As part of the bidding process to become a host city for EURO 2020, The Football Association (FA) secured a £1 million contribution from government to build a legacy from the tournament.
THE FA FIVES is that legacy and sees us manage the investment to bring free football festivals to under-represented groups around the nation.
A total of 15 different male and female categories will be contested at the festivals, across adult, veteran, disability, youth and walking football to make it the biggest and most inclusive five-a-side football event to date.
“It’s great to be able to mark 100 days until UEFA EURO 2020 with the announcement of THE FA FIVES,” said Patrick Brosnan, our strategic lead for football.
“This marks a big moment for us and gives us the opportunity to promote physical activity through free football in some of the most deprived areas of the country.
“The inclusivity of FA FIVES strongly aligns with our goals as an organisation. The 15 different categories means that it doesn’t matter who you are, there is an opportunity for you to get involved and have fun.”
Venues from the top 20% most deprived areas in the country were encouraged to apply to be a Round One host, with the aim of providing a free activity for their community and the possibility of obtaining further funding from our Small Grants programme.
This marks a big moment for us and gives us the opportunity to promote physical activity through free football in some of the most deprived areas of the country
Sport England's strategic lead for football
The FA hopes to encourage more than 5,000 teams and up to 50,000 participants to sign up, with the prize of playing in the shadow of Wembley Stadium at the National Finals up for grabs.
“We’re delighted to be able to deliver this inclusive event, giving people of all abilities the chance to be part of it – whether that be playing for the first time at a Round One event or supporting friends and family at a Regional Final,” said FA head of tournament delivery, Chris Bryant.
“We’re grateful to our partners and stakeholders for their support in delivering THE FA FIVES and look forward to watching the fun unfold this summer.”
The FA hopes up to 5,000 teams and 50,000 participants will register to play
In addition to the government contribution that we’ve managed to put THE FA FIVES on, we’ve also allocated £500,000 of funding from the National Lottery that organisations in host locations were able to apply for via our Small Grants programme.
With the money going to helping stay active during and beyond THE FA FIVES, it could be used for things such as hiring coaches, facilities, equipment, transport and using a diverse range of accessible facilities for THE FA FIVES events.
The funding, allocated in grants of between £300 and £10,000, is primarily aimed at projects encouraging people in the top 20% most deprived areas of England to get active. The first funding decisions from this programme are due to be announced soon.
Patrick added: “The festivals, and the further National Lottery investment through our Small Grants programme, give us a chance to build a genuine and inclusive legacy from UEFA EURO 2020.”
Key dates and information
- Round One events will be held on 2-3 May at more than 120 venues across the country
- Regional Finals will be held on 30-31 May in Sunderland, Manchester, Rugby, Yeovil and Elmbridge – precise locations will be announced later in March
- The National Finals will be on 12-13 June in the shadow of Wembley Stadium.
The full list of FA FIVES categories is:
- Adult male (aged 16+)
- Adult female (16+)
- Male veterans (35+)
- Female veterans (35+)
- Female walking football (40+)
- Walking football mixed (50+)
- Adult male disability league (16+)
- Adult male disability premiership (16+)
- Adult male disability championship (16+)
- Adult female disability (16+)
- Youth disability (11-16)
- Under-14 male
- Under 14-female
- Under-16 male
- Under-16 female.