Skip to Content
crowd-and-ball

People often ask if we have a spare ball in case we lose the one we are carrying. “No,” we reply, “there is only One Ball and only One World, and we have to look after both”.

The Ball’s first ever journey to both the Men’s and Women’s World Cups has 3 main objectives:

  1. Fair Play: The beauty, simplicity and joy of playing fairly with One Ball, for the pure sake of play, anywhere and with anyone.
  2. Equality: Anyone can participate, regardless of  gender, race, faith, talent, sexual orientation or intellectual capacity: Our One Ball is for all.
  3. Climate Action: The planet will survive us. We, the football community, need to take action now. We can make a difference.

Climate change affects lives across the entire world. Spirit of Football recognises that football is both affected by and contributes to the climate crisis. Although we have a shared responsibility, we take into account that the ones contributing the most to the problem are also the ones who need to take the most responsibility – which cannot be at the expense of the already marginalised. We aim to make the act of taking climate action as inclusive as possible. The Ball will focus on promoting climate action by tapping into the unifying power and passion of football to:

  • Demonstrate the possibilities and challenges of carbon neutral travel across 23,000+ kms on route form London to Auckland.
  • Listen to people in the 23+ countries on route (they are the experts not us at SOF) and we aim to share their stories about climate change with a global audience.
  • Discover and share innovative local ideas, initiatives and solutions to climate change problems
  • Encourage climate action by running co-developed workshops (in universities, schools, communities) that listen to and empower people (young and old) to take and promote climate action in their communities.
  • Encourage people (especially football fans) to pledge to take climate action that can result in concrete CO² emission reductions.

The Ball will especially target the football community: from individuals (fans), organisations (clubs) and governing bodies. It will use these learnings and commitments, supported by academic research, training and TV/Film/Social Media to advocate for the change we urgently need to see.

Quick Start Guide

For the first time, The Ball will journey to both the 2022 Men’s FIFA World Cup (Qatar) and onto the 2023 Women’s FIFA World Cup (Australia/New Zealand), some 23,000+ km across 23+ countries.

The Route of The Ball in 2022 and 2023 is marked in red

 

Timetable

  • November 2021: Project launch – Glasgow COP 26
  • July 2022: Kick Off, The Ball’s journey begins – Battersea Park London
  • November 2022: The Ball arrives Qatar Men’s World Cup
  • July 2023: The Ball arrives Australia/New Zealand Women’s World Cup

Our Goal

To use the unifying power of football to promote fair play and equality and to highlight existing climate action and to encourage people to take climate action.

For 20 years The Ball has proven to be an ideal megaphone for raising awareness of global issues. It has inspired Spirit of Football to develop education programmes based on fair play and equality, and promoted our world as a network of positive relationships. Now is The Ball’s moment to learn about, take and encourage climate action.

A SOF fair play workshop with young people from 3 schools in Athens, Greece in 2019.

SOF knows carbon emissions are changing the climate. It is however not the climate we need to fix, but to encourage individuals and organisations to take cölimate action. SOF also believes that we need to change the destructive societal structures that perpetuate rather than challenge carbon-intensive behaviours. It is time for decision makers to sign The Ball and pledge their commitment. Together with our local partners, we aim to hold them accountable for their climate pledges. We will allow them to sign The Ball only if they are committed to finding sustainable solutions (via structures and laws for example) to the climate crisis.

Here, in 2010, the President of Zambia signs The Ball. The Ball has met with leaders of countries on each of The Ball’s journeys.

The Ball 2022/23 will embark on a bold journey that will go over land and sea, as emission-free as possible, to both the 2022 Men’s World Cup (Qatar) and onto the 2023 Women’s World Cup (Australia/New Zealand) some 23,000+ km across 23+ countries. Our aim is not to fly with The Ball, rather to highlight alternative, carbon friendlier means of transport.

The Ball being flown between Togo and Nigeria in 2010.

The Ball will use football’s global reach to promote fair play and equality and to highlight and encourage climate action taking place on route from London to Auckland. It will listen to local people as well as motivating individuals, institutions, football clubs and governing bodies to take climate action.

A Jordanian woman at a SOF workshop in Jordan in 2020 does her first ever header.

Send us an Email

The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in 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.