On Wednesday, the first day of the Women’s Euro 2022 football tournament, the United Nations launched Football For The Goals (FFTG), an initiative aimed at tapping into the power of the game to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN’s blueprint for a fairer, greener future.
FFTG is also intended to achieve behavioural change, and bring about sustainable practices in the football industry. The first organization to join up is UEFA, the game’s European governing body, and the UN has invited other members of the wider football community – from leagues and clubs, to players, fan groups and media partners – to follow UEFA’s lead, and commit to positive change.
This means adopting UN principles of sustainable development and human rights, developing sustainable business practices, acting as champions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and raising the profile of the Goals.
To demonstrate how the FFTG commitments translate into action, the Football Association of Norway is launching a pilot project with its national teams, grassroot football and leagues, as well as its media partner, to collaborate in support of the SDGs, and work closely with the UN to share the results with those interested in joining FFTG.
“The United Nations recognizes the powerful voice football carries in the global community and the role football can play in raising awareness for the SDGs”, said Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the UN.
Power of football
“Not only is football the most popular sport in the world, it is also the most accessible. All you need is a ball for people to come together. Every day, millions of people all over the world play the game, whether on a makeshift field, in a school yard or in a giant stadium. That’s why we are excited and proud to launch this initiative.”
FFTG, which is led and managed by the UN, was launched on Wednesday with a virtual event, featuring a conversation with Ms. Mohammed and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. A recording of the event is available on the UN’s Youtube channel here.
The UN and the SDGs
- The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders at the historic Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.
- Encompassing everything from health to gender equality and education, the Goals are mobilizing efforts around the world to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change by 2030, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
- Football for the Goals follows successful collaborations between the UN and creative agencies, media organizations, and the publishing and the mobile industries, among others, to promote action on the SDGs.
- FFTG engages with football stakeholders and major actors to leverage the outreach power of football and the sport’s global footprint in advancing sustainability, equality, human rights and climate action by promoting actions and practices that support achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).