Millions of us in Europe love football, whether it’s watching matches live or on TV, playing in local teams or simply kicking a ball around a neighbourhood park with friends. However, the cleanliness of air breathed by players can have a huge impact on the game itself – studies show that poor air quality can slow the pace of matches by up to 15%, as well as reducing the number of passes. In this way, poor air quality can affect how much we enjoy football and have a real impact on our health and wellbeing, not to mention the environment.
To raise awareness of this problem, the European Climate Pact is teaming up with UEFA, the governing body of football in Europe, for their public awareness campaign “Cleaner Air, Better Game”.
The campaign kicks off at the Under-21 European Championships, a carbon-neutral event taking place this spring in Hungary and Slovenia. Together with partners including WWF and Count Us In, different activities will be organised during the tournament to draw attention to the impact of poor air quality and encourage football fans and players to take small steps to make changes.
These steps can be small lifestyle changes like choosing to cycle or take sustainable transport to the stadium next time you watch a match or reducing the food you waste when you invite your friends over to watch that nail-biting league final. Through the partnership with Count Us In, each step will be added to a counter that converts steps into real-life carbon savings.
From football fans to players, managers, and even the clubs themselves – we all have a part to play in making the environment cleaner and greener. These changes may seem small on their own, but together the impact is game-changing. So, join your footballing heroes and make a change for clean air and the beautiful game.
Feeling motivated to do more? The Climate Pact brings together individuals and organisations who are committed to making changes to move towards a greener Europe. Take a step, share your story, and inspire others to do the same by applying to become a Climate Pact Ambassador.
- Publication date
- 23 March 2021