The Ball: Football’s Olympic Torch

The Ball is football’s equivalent to the Olympic Torch.

Every four years, The Ball kicks off from its “Mount Olympus”, Battersea Park in London, where the first official game of modern rules football took place in 1864. The Ball celebrates this moment because it gave rise to a common set of rules which enable the whole world to play together. The Ball’s destination is the Opening Ceremony of the FIFA World Cup.

The epic journeys of The Ball since 2002.

It’s an honour to sign The Ball.

— Pat Nevin, former Chelsea & Scotland captain

The Ball has been kicked by Spirit of Football to 5 FIFA World Cups, visiting 50+ countries and meeting more than 50,000 people passionate about the beautiful game and in support of our values of diversity, respect and fair play. On those journeys and in our everyday work, we have experienced first-hand the potential for positive change in the football community and beyond.

What does The Ball do?

The Ball’s first ever journey to the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, supported by the Swedish Postcode Foundation, 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

On each of The Ball’s epic journeys to the World Cup, it is played with by as many people as possible along the way to the host country. Anyone and everyone can engage with The Ball, head it, sign it, kick it and help it along its way.