Launching Planet Ball:
Football for the environment


Sophie Lopez, Head of European Projects
Julie Mongard, Head of Communications, Sport and Citizenship Think Tank



According to the United Nations, “Sport has proven to be one of the most effective and flexible tools for promoting the values of the United Nations and achieving sustainable development objectives. The Planet Ball project, of which Sport and Citizenship is a partner, was launched on 18 January 2024 in Brussels, in this context which links sport and climate action.


Reconciling sport and sustainable development

The launch meeting for the “Planet Ball: Football as a tool for education and the environment” project was held in January in the offices of the project leader, Sport and Citizenship.

Football is the most popular sport in the world and the most played sport in Europe. It provides a place for encounters and exchanges, and for learning values. However, when it comes to the environment, the world of football still has a long way to go in controlling its impact on the environment and contributing to combating climate change. At the European level, actions for more sustainable and “greener” football have already been implemented, but their impact still falls short of expectations. In fact, these behaviours need to be widely adopted by all the stakeholders in football, including amateur football clubs.



This situation led the Sport and Citizenship Think Tank, active in environmental matters for more than 10 years, to define the outlines of the “Project Ball” project. 8 partners in 7 European countries will be implementing this project to strengthen the role of sport in combating climate change among young people:





Young people, ambassadors for change

PLANET BALL betting on young people

Motivated by their growing environmental awareness, many young Europeans have become key players in making sport more environmentally responsible. In addition to this, young people in a local football club can have the power to raise awareness and influence their peers.


Environmental education and awareness

The project will be relying on the motivating power of football as a tool for education about the environment. Throughout the project, four groups of twenty young people from different countries (Finland, Estonia, Romania and Turkey) will be trained and informed about adopting eco-responsible patterns of behaviour in their daily football activities. Tools will be designed and shared with amateur football clubs and local sport stakeholders. Events will also be held to raise the awareness of young footballers regarding environmental matters. The PLANET BALL ambassadors will become role-models and will encourage everyone in their club and their wider community to adopt these gestures.


The football of tomorrow

Helping young people today is essential, to enable them to take action in the future and inspire transformations for the environment.

With Planet ball, football will give young people the keys to develop a responsible approach to the environment. Aware of the issues at a very young age, these little footballers will ensure that playing football sustainably is fixed in people’s minds. Young people embody the future of European football.



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Read the previous article:

Manuela Nicolosi, international assistant referee:“We are on the right track”
By Eva Jacomet, Project Manager, Think tank Sport et Citoyenneté.

Sport et citoyenneté