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The Journey

23,000+ km, 23+ Countries, 3 Oceans, 12 Months, 2 World Cups with just One Ball

This will be the non-profit organisation Spirit of Football’s 6th journey of The Ball. It will kick-off in July 2022 in Battersea Park in London, where the first official game of football was played. This time it will travel to the kick-off of the 2023 Women’s World Cup at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2023.

All The Ball JourneysThe Ball’s journeys since 2002. The proposed route for The Ball 2022/23 is marked in red.

The Ball 2022/23 will travel, as climate neutral as possible, firstly to the 2022 Men’s World Cup (Qatar) and onto the 2023 Women’s World Cup (Australia/New Zealand). The SOF team carrying The Ball will be gender balanced. They will travel in and showcase various environmentally friendly transport solutions, including going by foot, cycling, taking trains, using electric and hybrid vehicles, sailing, car-sharing, and many other options.

The Ball 2022

  1. England: July (by sea)
  2. France: July
  3. Belgium: August
  4. Germany: August
  5. Switzerland: September
  6. Austria, September
  7. Italy, September (by sea)
  8. Greece, September
  9. Turkey, October
  10. Iraq, October
  11. Kuwait November (by sea)
  12. Qatar, World Cup 21 November – 18 December

The Ball 2023

  1. Qatar, January (by sea)
  2. Iran, January
  3. Pakistan, January
  4. India, February
  5. Bangladesh, February
  6. Myanmar, March
  7. Thailand, March
  8. Malaysia, April
  9. Singapore, April (by sea)
  10. Indonesia, May
  11. Australia (by sea), June
  12. Fiji (by sea), June
  13. New Zealand, World Cup July 10 – August 20

Potential adjustments on routes might include

  • Austria though the Balkans to Greece
  • Turkey then by sea, via Red Sea, and any possible stops in some Gulf States to Qatar.
  • Iran to Afghanistan (pos via Tajikistan) to Pakistan.
  • Bangladesh by sea to Thailand
  • Singapore by sea and any possible stops along the way (such as Indonesia, PNG, Fiji and Vanuatu) to New Zealand

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.