New sustainability standards for EURO 2024

With just one year until EURO 2024, the men’s European football championship kicks off, the Union of European Football Association’s (UEFA) Respect Forum (28–29 June) brought together over 200 industry experts and stakeholders from across European football at the German Football Association’s (DFB) headquarters in Frankfurt. The theme of the two-day forum was ‘Inspire, Activate and Accelerate collective Action’.

“We want EURO 2024 to lead by example, creating a sustainable model that will apply to all competitions”, said Michele Uva, UEFA’s Director for Social and Environmental Sustainability.

According to Andreas Schär, Managing Director of EURO 2024, “sustainability will be part of the tournament’s DNA”. For example, the match schedule for the group stages has been designed to minimise travel between the event’s 10 venue cities.

 

Raising the profile of the Sustainable Development Goals

UEFA is a member of the UN-led initiative ‘Football for the Goals’, along with many other international and regional federations, national associations, leagues and clubs.

‘Football for the Goals’ encourages the global football community to use its own visibility and outreach power to raise the profile of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through amplification and advocacy. Members commit to the principles of sustainable development and to mainstreaming sustainable practices throughout their businesses and activities.

Showcasing the latest trends, practices and innovations in social and environmental sustainability, the Respect Forum featured a series of talks, panel discussions and workshops.

 

How football can help refugees settle into their new lives

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi highlighted at the forum the important role European football can play in helping refugees settle into their new lives and communities. “I would like to see even more done by European football federations, to cascade their actions down to clubs, at all levels. Bringing people together in the community has a very important local effect. We are partnering with UEFA to pursue this objective through football”, Mr Grandi said.

Sixteen teams from across Europe, combining local youth players, refugees, boys and girls competed in Frankfurt for the Unity EURO Cup – a joint UEFA-UNHCR initiative. The first-ever UEFA #FootbALL awards recognised inspirational examples of diversity and inclusion within the game in four categories: national associations, leagues, clubs and players.

 

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