We are a group of football fans from different countries, supporting different clubs. We love football and are concerned about the climate emergency. We want football to play its role by kicking out polluting sponsors and taking serious climate action. Fossil Free Football was started by Frank Huisingh, who currently takes a year of unpaid leave from his job to kick-start this campaign.
A ban on sponsorship and ad deals with big polluters
Companies that sell carbon-intensive products are under pressure. Their products are polluting and we know it. Many of them have a track record of blocking and slowing climate action. These companies use football, the game we love, to sell their products and protect their image. We need to kick them out of our beautiful game. Clubs can do this themselves, but we’ll need regulations by football bodies to achieve structural change.
Serious climate action by FIFA, UEFA, national associations and clubs
Professional football needs to lower its climate impact. The current practice of an ever expanding international football calendar is not the way to go. A smaller and more regional international football calendar will allow for more sustainable team and fan travel. Clubs can also do a lot in and around games. They can help facilitate sustainable fan travel. They can offer more plant-based food options. They can lower the amount of new jerseys and choose sustainable production practices. They can use renewable energy in and around the stadium. They can lead by example, an example that will be seen by many.
We target the big polluters that try to keep us addicted to fossil fuels and stop necessary climate action. These are fossil fuel companies themselves, airlines, car companies still betting on petrol cars and SUVs, banks that keep financing fossil fuel expansion and cryptocurrencies using enormous amounts of dirty energy.
Football is influential. Clubs and players have a huge international following. Polluting companies love to use this platform to sell products and associate themselves with such a popular and healthy social activity. Seeing those sponsors and ads when you watch a football match, makes them look normal. Sponsor and ad deals between polluting sponsors and sports create a ‘cultural license to operate’ for these dirty companies.
Extreme weather events are becoming more regular because of global warming. Heat, extreme rain and long droughts have an enormous impact on players, supporters and the pitches on which we play the game. These impacts are different in different countries and how bad they become, depends on the actions we take in the coming years.