Za’Atari and Azraq Residents to Benefit From Two Brand New Football Pitches

Press release
Published September 18th, 2018 - 04:40 GMT
During the event
During the event

Lay’s, the UEFA Foundation for Children and the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP), have joined together to transform unsafe play areas at two refugee Camps in Northern Jordan into new football pitches. A dedicated girls-only pitch will enhance Za’atari’s current football facilities, while in Azraq, a newly upgraded girls and boys pitch will enable even more football loving residents to play, train and watch their favourite game.

Lay’s first partnered with the UEFA Foundation for Children and the AFDP in September 2017 to build a full-size, permanent pitch for Za’atari residents to enjoy. Over the past 12 months, 35,000 children and adults have used the pitch, with 600 matches played across 20 tournaments and football training courses on offer all-year round. Furthermore, 40 men and 40 women have been trained as certified football coaches.

Today, HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein will return to officially open the girls-only pitch in Za’atari, having inaugurated the previous pitch in 2017. As the AFDP Founder and Chairman, HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein will be joined by UEFA Foundation for Children General Secretary Urs Kluser and PepsiCo Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Snacks Director, Mazen Al Masri, who will meet with members of the community and local qualified football coaches.

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, AFDP Founder and Chairman commented: "When children enter these football pitches, they dare to dream big. They are football players, defenders, strikers, goalkeepers, referees and fans; having a good time while learning how to play within a team. In many, lasting ways, their lives will be transformed well beyond that last whistle blow."

PepsiCo’s MENA Snacks Director, Mazen Al Masri said: “The Arab World is united in its love for football, and this project enables young people to live out their passion and bond over the camaraderie the sport inspires. PepsiCo is proud to be part of this initiative with AFDP and the UEFA Foundation for Children, in line with our Performance with Purpose strategy to do business in a way that benefits the communities we live and work in.”

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: “These new football pitches have been designed to help create an everyday environment where youngsters can enjoy recreational time and remain children during a war situation. The new girls-only facility in Za’atari meets a growing need to promote girls’ participation in sports activities at the camp, with the practice of supervised-sports activities at both camps will help reduce tensions, encourage dialogue and improve conflict resolution and well-being.”

Lay’s, a PepsiCo owned brand, has been an official partner of the UEFA Champions League since 2015. It has a long-standing relationship with football around the world, having developed several initiatives to promote the sport throughout the Arab World in addition to its UEFA Champions League partnership. Lay’s has also replaced abandoned areas with football pitches throughout Egypt , as well as screening UEFA Champions League matches free in youth centers and other locations across the country.

Background Information

Pepsi Cola International

In 1965, Donald Kendall, the CEO of Pepsi-Cola, and Herman Lay, the CEO of Frito-Lay, recognized what they called “a marriage made in heaven,” a single company delivering perfectly-salty snacks served alongside the best cola on earth. Their vision led to what quickly became one of the world's leading food and beverage companies: PepsiCo. 

For more than 50 years, as tastes, trends and lifestyles have changed, PepsiCo has evolved with them. Our willingness to adapt and grow has transformed our snack and soda company into a collection of global brands including Pepsi and Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana, Frito-Lay and beyond. Today, PepsiCo is one of the world’s most-respected companies with products sold in more than 200 countries and territories and 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

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