Media Release – Transplant Recipients Embracing ‘The Beautiful Game’

Proving once again that an organ transplant is no barrier, the first Invitational World Transplant Football tournament will kick off in France later this year.

The World Transplant Games Federation, backed by a new vision – ‘more transplant recipients, more active, more often’, is determined to help the world’s transplant population be active and healthy around their precious gift.

It traditionally conducts the World Summer and Winter Transplant Games in alternating years to help recipients focus on their health. And over the last few years introduced a Fit for Life! Program to help recipients take the first few steps back to an active life. The Federation’s President, Chris Thomas, said it was only a matter of time before transplant sports embraced ‘the beautiful game’.

The first Invitational World Transplant Football Tournament will be held 20-26 October 2019 at Tours & Saint Cyr Sur Loire, France.

It is expected that this tournament will feature teams from at least six nations who will compete in a World Cup format to crown an international champion. Romania, Spain, and Italy have already joined host France in this first-ever event.

The tournament is being staged by Trans-Forme, France’s Transplant & Dialysis Sport Federation. Matches will be held both in the “FASS St. Symphorien” stadium in Tours and the “Etoile Bleue stadium” in St Cyr sur Loire.

Mr. Thomas said football added an additional benefit to the traditional sports offered at the transplant games in that it was a great example of a purely team-based sport where it was essential to work together.

“Transplant recipients, by the very nature of their medical condition, have often missed out on team-based sports where contact is inevitable. Football teaches teamwork, inclusivity, camaraderie and winning and losing together as a unit, Mr. Thomas said.

“These are life skills important for the development of the individual and skills which help with social acceptance, inclusion and being a valued member of society. It is more than football, it’s a life skill.”

Teams will meet in preliminary pool play and will try to advance to the knockout stage. Matches will be staged in accordance with FIFA rules with some modifications to safeguard the transplanted organs of the athletes.

This new tournament is the first event of the new transplant football program of the World Transplant Games Federation. The WTGF’s Football Commission is working to establish an official transplant football world cup beginning in 2020. Thanks must be made to the World Transplant Football Commission and WTGF Board Members; Andre Lassooij and Olivier Coustere for the work in arranging this tournament.

Additional information is available at

Countries and teams interested in participating should contact:
– Tel : +33 1 43 46 75 46 – Direct line : + 33 1 40 02 99 21 or 23

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