Football deserves better: we have a plan!

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar shows what’s wrong with the current organisation of the game we all love. Appalling labour rights violations, an enormous climate impact combined with misleading claims of ‘carbon neutrality’ and a repressive attitude towards expressions of diversity. These problems go much further than this one World Cup. It would be foolish to move on and just hope for the best. We need to rebuild international football for the 21st century. From decarbonisation to human rights to inclusion, this is the moment to improve football. To protect football for current and future generations around the world. 

Football deserves better, here is our plan! This is only a draft, for which we’ve already gotten input by some excellent football fans and experts. Please get in touch to provide input to make it better!


  • Football is a global sport, which everyone should be able to participate in and should be able to enjoy. It is welcoming and inclusive to all!
  • Football respects and promotes human rights, wherever it is played!
  • Football is dependent on a stable climate and on nature, and therefore football has to reduce its emissions and any negative impact on the natural environment. This means halving football’s emissions by 2030, and to be equitable, at least a 65% reduction in the West. 
  • Football has the attention of the whole world, and sufficient resources to lead, rather than follow or even lag behind best practices. Football should use this reach to set a new, higher standard for sports, and demonstrate to us all what is possible.

Our starting 11

A strong line of defence

1. International football bodies need to be honest and transparent. No more lying about climate impacts, no unreliable and misleading use of offsets.

Starting from this basic rule, we can build a strong team.

2. International football bodies urgently need governance reform and be more accountable to the world football community, from fans to players.  

International football bodies should become more democratic and inclusive.

3. Organising football tournaments comes with specific human rights obligations which are pro-actively enforced: from respecting workers’ rights in construction and all other steps in delivering a tournament to ensuring all fans are treated equally and with respect. Football tournaments will set high requirements in procurement, from low-carbon to respecting human rights.

Football will have a positive impact on the people in the countries that host it.

4. Football is for everyone – and can unite us. Anti-discrimination is a top priority on and off the field. Diversity is visibly celebrated. Ticket prices should go down, for football to be more welcoming to all.

Football will welcome more and more people, who might have previously felt excluded!

A dynamic midfield with a strong foundation

5. Football associations and clubs stop accepting ownership and sponsorship deals and ads from polluting and risky sponsors, such as airlines, dirty banks, fossil energy companies, cryptocurrencies and gambling. We no longer use the wonderful platform of football to sell and normalise products that are harmful. Football pushes for international regulation on this. No football club should be sold to people who have made their wealth from causing harm.

Football’s sponsors and partners can be actively shaping a world in which football can thrive – sustainable, fair, and open to all. 

6. We make the international and national football calendar fit for the 21st century. This means we organise football in such a way that emissions from team and fan travel and construction are reduced. We focus on regional competitions, fewer and smaller tournaments. 

Football can become a champion of climate action. Through its actions, football will play a bigger role in strengthening regional social, cultural and economic ties.

7. Tournaments should use existing infrastructure as much as possible. The demands upon organisers need to be more realistic and affordable. 

International tournaments will come to your regional stadium. 

8. Tournaments focus on local and regional fans. This drastically reduces emissions from travelling fans.

Local football fans can have the experience of a lifetime. The rest of us will watch just as we do now: with friends, family and the entire nation.

Our line of attack scores goals for everyone

9. We drastically reduce, reuse and recycle football attire. Football associations and clubs stop working with shoe and clothing brands that do not respect workers rights and don’t use sustainable practices. 

Football will be a leader in sustainable fashion and respecting workers’ rights. 

10. The stadium experience becomes more sustainable. From travelling to the stadium to what we eat during the break, football facilitates more sustainable choices.

A sustainable fan experience is a good experience. 

11. We play as a team and with team values. From your local football club in Dakar to your favourite team São Paolo, football clubs and associations work together to live up to high standards on inclusion, climate and human rights.

Football can be a force for good.

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