The United Nations has launched Football For The Goals (FFTG), an initiative aimed at tapping into the power of the game to raise awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN’s blueprint for a fairer, greener future.
The UN launched the FFTG on the first day of the Women’s Euro 2022 football tournament.
The FFTG, which is led and managed by the UN, was launched with a virtual event, featuring a conversation with Amina Mohammed, UN deputy secretary-general.
The virtual event also featured Aleksander Čeferin, the President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).
Ms Mohammed said the United Nations recognised the powerful voice football carries in the global community and the role football can play in raising awareness for the SDGs.
“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,” she said. “That’s why we are excited and proud to launch this initiative.”
FFTG is also intended to achieve behavioural change, and bring about sustainable practices in the football industry.
The first organisation 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 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.
The association 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.