Quantcast

Pope Francis and Top Football Stars Kick-off ‘Match For Peace’

Climate

For years, football has been the world’s universal sport; from massive stadiums in Europe to villages in remote parts of Africa, football games are followed with excitement. With a single ball, football builds bridges between people, cultures, nations and religions. This is why countless TV viewing records are being broken, and every four years the World Cup unites people with joy and disappointment. Most of the time it doesn’t matter whether you are on the winning team, it is the sense of community that is important. Football brings the world together and represents a great opportunity to direct focus to some of the world’s most pressing issues.

The Interreligious Match for Peace, proposed by Pope Francis and played by some of the best football players in the world, was held in Rome’s Olympic stadium on Sept. 1. It was a historic moment in the charitable sports calendar, one which brought together people of different religions to celebrate interfaith harmony, solidarity and sporting excellence.

Connect4Climate is excited to have been a part of this remarkable event. Pope Francis, who has championed global peace and the struggle against poverty, once tweeted: “To live charitably means not looking out for our own interests, but carrying the burdens of the weakest and poorest among us.” Connect4Climate and The World Bank recognize that poverty is inextricably linked to climate change, with the poorest most affected. In the words of World Bank Group President Jim Kim: “We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change.”

We know that with the increasing impact of climate change, there is a higher risk of conflict due to population displacement and resource scarcity. An inter-faith dialogue on lasting peace, expressed through the Match For Peace, therefore becomes vitally important.

Having met the Pope earlier this year, I was immensely touched by the power of faith to encourage society to act and take on some of our most pressing challenges. In addition, watching major sport events, like World Cups and the Olympic Games, shows the huge potential of sports as a call to action. The sport community can and should be a trailblazer in shifting attitudes to take on climate change. Sport is a huge industry with billions watching their favorite teams, attending games and playing in their communities. The high profiles of professional footballers make them well placed to advocate for action and encourage others to do the same.

With the full realization of the power of sport for reaching global audiences, we recently launched the #Sport4Climate campaign, which showcases how sport and athletes across the world are standing up to climate change. Already many athletes have signed up to the climate pledge, and the call for action is set to grow.

We were thrilled to watch the Interreligious Match for Peace, seeing the Leadership of Pope Francis, and the call of international football superstars to take action on some of the most pressing issues facing society today. Let’s act on climate change, tackle poverty and call for global peace. Join the discussion at #sport4climate and #matchforpeace.

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

New Satellite Maps Show World’s Major Ice Caps Melting at Unprecedented Rate

‘Irreversible’ Damage to Planet From Climate Change Says Leaked IPCC Report

Women’s Rights and Climate Change: What’s the Connection?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Mike Mozart / Flicker / CC BY 2.0

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder on Friday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found trace amounts of asbestos in one of its bottles.

Read More Show Less
Electric towers during golden hour. Pixabay / Pexels

An international group of scientists released a report today detailing how the fossil fuel industry actively campaigned to sow doubt about the climate crisis and what steps need to be taken to undo the damage, as the Los Angeles Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Justin Trudeau delivers remarks during an election rally in Markham, Ontario, Canada, on Sept. 15. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. / NurPhoto via Getty Images

By Chloe Farand for Climate Home News

Canadians are voting on Monday in an election observers say will define the country's climate future.

Read More Show Less
Activists Greta Thunberg (2ndL), Iris Duquesne(C), and Alexandria Villaseñor (3rd R) attend a press conference where 16 children present their official human rights complaint on the climate crisis to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child at the UNICEF Building on Sept. 23 in NYC. KENA BETANCUR / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Taft

Fifteen kids from a dozen countries, including Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, recently brought a formal complaint to the United Nations. They're arguing that climate change violates children's rights as guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a global agreement.

Read More Show Less
Cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on could fall heavily on the public.
Susan Vineyard / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Justin Mikulka

Increasingly, U.S. shale firms appear unable to pay back investors for the money borrowed to fuel the last decade of the fracking boom. In a similar vein, those companies also seem poised to stiff the public on cleanup costs for abandoned oil and gas wells once the producers have moved on.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Blue tarps given out by FEMA cover several roofs two years after Hurricane Maria affected the island in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 18. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP / Getty Images

Top officials at the Department of Housing and Urban Development confirmed to lawmakers last week that they knowingly — and illegally — stalled hurricane aid to Puerto Rico.

Read More Show Less
Actress Jane Fonda (C) and actor Sam Waterston (L) participate in a protest in front of the U.S. Capitol during a "Fire Drill Fridays" climate change protest and rally on Capitol Hill, Oct. 18. Mark Wilson / Getty Images News

It appears Jane Fonda is good for her word. The actress and political activist said she would hold demonstrations on Capitol Hill every Friday through January to demand action on the climate crisis. Sure enough, Fonda was arrested for demonstrating a second Friday in a row Oct. 18, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Only this time, her Grace and Frankie co-star Sam Waterston joined her.

Read More Show Less
Visitors look at the Aletsch glacier above Bettmeralp, in the Swiss Alps, on Oct. 1. The mighty Aletsch — the largest glacier in the Alps — could completely disappear by the end of this century if nothing is done to rein in climate change, a study showed on Sept. 12. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP via Getty Images

Switzerland's two Green parties made historic gains in the country's parliamentary elections Sunday, according to projections based on preliminary results reported by The New York Times.

Read More Show Less