Girl signs The Ball
Jürgen Klopp, our biggest supporter

“This ball is a fantastic icon for the current situation. How simple things would be if we could all just orientate ourselves around The Ball. Whoever sees my signature [on The Ball] can feel a little better for a moment because he knows that he is surrounded by friends, and when he too signs it he becomes a member of our team. I would be happy if you too would join our team.”
— Jürgen Klopp

The Ball 2018 Kick Off

Come join us on 25th March 2018 at the all-weather pitches in Battersea Park, London to kick off The Ball 2018 on its way to the World Cup in Russia.

10am – 10:10 Welcome talk: SOF fair play rules to school children
10:15 – 11:45 Five-a-side mixed children’s games, fair play rules
11:45 – 12.00 wind-down Give children certificates etc
12:00 – 12:30 Speeches, VIP, photos, press etc
12:45 onwards Kick off

Quick Start Guide

The proposed theme of the 2018 journey is “empathy”. The Ball will explore this through the experience of displaced people; the journeys that they have needed to make and the challenges they face once they have found refuge. We will highlight the extraordinary work that is being done using football to help these people find a new home and build new communities.

Collaboration with project partners will ensure that The Ball 2018 leaves a lasting legacy and extends the impact of the World Cup beyond the borders of the host country, Russia. Spirit of Football’s award winning curriculum “One Ball, One World” will be deployed in schools and communities en route. The Ball will visit up to 6 partner projects, each for one week, and collaborate on fair play football, music, art, dance and theatre activities.

Spirit of Football is excited to partner with the Robert Bosch Foundation on this epic journey with the goal of strengthening Europe through football. The Ball will be welcomed into Jordan by HRH Prince Ali on 18th May, visiting Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and running integration workshops with Syrian refugees and host communities in Lebanon and Turkey. It will bring participants from previously warring nations together in Kosovo and be kicked and signed by homeless people in Croatia. It will also seek the Olympic Spirit and a blessing from the Greek Gods at the top of Mount Olympus with football fans in Greece. Education workshops will be run in learning centres in 10 German Bundesliga stadiums, ending with an attempt to enter Russia via Georgia.

The Route

The proposed route of The Ball 2018The provisional route begins (as always) in Battersea Park in London, England then passes through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Balkans, Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Northern Iraq, Armenia, Georgia and finally arrives in Russia in time for the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow on 14th June.


These are the locations and dates of The Ball 2018:

England – kick-off 25th March
Belgium – 29th March to 2nd of April
Poland – 3rd to 5th of April
Germany – 6th to 20th of April
Austria – 21st to 22nd of April
Croatia – 23rd to 26th of April
Serbia – 27th to 30th of April
Bulgaria – 1st to 5th of May
Kosovo – 6th to 9th of May
Greece – 10th to 14th of May
Turkey (Istanbul) – 15th to 17th of May
Jordan – 18th to 25th of May
Lebanon – 26th to 31st of May
Turkey – 1st to 6th of June
Georgia – 7th to 12th of June
Russia – 13th of June to 7th of July

If you live or work anywhere en route and would like to kick and sign The Ball, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. If you know of anything The Ball should do or see en route, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. whatever it is, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Look forward to hearing from you!

The Ball 2014 left England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.