The Premier League has today launched the Wellbeing Stars challenge, which encourages primary school-aged children across England and Wales to come up with and carry out five acts of kindness in a single week.TV and radio presenter Lauren Layfield has set the challenge, which tasks five to 11-year-olds with creating a "Wellbeing Week" plan of activity that will help boost the mood of their family, or people they know in their school or community.Wellbeing Stars is the latest initiative from the Premier League Primary Stars education programme, which uses children's passion for football to engage them in learning.The programme is supported by 110 professional football clubs in their communities, as well as via free online resources.
Athletic Bilbao was one of the first football clubs in Spain, formed in 1898 by British migrant workers and young Basques who had studied in England. The club has always been strongly rooted in Basque culture and values and has explicitly recognised the importance of locality and culture in its Principles of Origins. The club embodied these principles by developing a unique sporting philosophy is governed by a code which states that Athletic Club may only field players who have come through its own academy or the academies of other clubs in the Basque Country, or players who were born in the following territories which constitute the Basque Country: Biscay, Gipuzkoa, Alava, Navarre, Labourd, Soule and Lower Navarre. The club also explicitly recognsies and supports the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, a global agreement by all UN member states to support and promote environmental and development goals while promoting peace, justice and security. Uniquely also Ath Club Bilbao has a One Club Award, made to footballers in any club who have played all of their professional careers for one club.
Warch this TIFO video on Bilbao's One Club Award and the values and ethics of the club
Read about the ways in which football and footballers contribute to their communities in the PFA Community Magazine - click on the image to read the magazine. Over 33,000 player visits were recorded by the PFA for the 2019-2020 season covering support for projects in education, health, social inclusion, anti-racism, disability; and 450+ Community Ambassadors worked to support projects related to community engagement.
Mo Salah is world famous as an outstanding and exciting footballer at Liverpool. What is less well known is the effect he has had on positive community relations in the city - the so called Mo Salah effect. Salah is a practicing Muslim and he is seen not only as a great footballer but also as a humble and inspirational person. As a role model with these qualities his influence on community relations in the city has been powerful in conveying a postivie image of Islam and Muslim people. Stanford University conducted research into his influence off the pitch and concluded that the 'Mo Salah' effect had a significant impact on reducing Islamophobic behaviours and attitudes and behaviours in Liverpool. Read a summary of the Stanford University study here and watch Middle East Eye The Egyptian King here. Who else would you put in this category in the world of football? There are many of them - Marcus Rashford campaigning on food poverty? Lilian Thuram on anti racism? Didier Drogba as a peacemaker in the Ivory Coast.? We will be covering many more cases like this on the website.
Photo of Hector Bellerin of Arsenal, socailly conscious foootballer, invests in Forest Green Rovers.
Forest Green Rovers currently play in League Two of the English Foorball League. The Gloucestershire-based club have been recognised by Fifa and the United Nations as the world's most environmentally friendly team.It went fully vegan in 2015 and became the world's first carbon-neutral sports club in 2017. The club Chairman is Dale Vince, who is described as a "green energy" industrialist. A former New Age traveller, he is the owner of the electricity company Ecotricity. Interestingly, Hector Bellerin, a Spanish footballer who currently plays for Arsenal, is also a shareholder in Forest Green Rovers.
Bellerin, who wants to support the club's green agenda, said: "Forest Green are showing others the way."The Spain international added: "So many people feel there's no solution to the world's problems, but Forest Green are already doing plenty."I'm so excited to be part of the FGR family. I'll be helping where I can, supporting people who want to change the world for the better."The 25-year-old is known for being a socially conscious footballer and recently raised money to plant 60,000 trees in the Amazon rainforest. His new role with FGR will see him work with chairman Dale Vince and the club on raising the environmental agenda in football - among clubs, leagues and fans. (story from BBC)
How should football change to remain the world game? We begin this series by looking at why the proposal for a European Super League collapsed so quickly. Watch the TIFO presentation How the European Super League fell apart - A Timeline, here
The Football Supporters' Association were at the forefront of opposition to the ESL helping to mobilise supporters organisations across Europe in protest against the ESL, see here FSA and opposition across Europe
In the week or so since the promoters of the idea withdrew their plans, there has been a wide-ranging debate about the future of football which moves the issue beyond protest to generating proposals for alternatives. In this space we will follow these ideas, many of which revolve around new models of governance, involving varying levels of supporter's involvement; much broader representation and diversity in club ownership and management; new funding models, including controlling players salaries and introducing levies to distribute income from football from the top of the pyramid to the grassroots. We highlight some of these proposals here, beginning with a survey published in The Times 24th April, where a panel of experts presented their views on the ESL plan and what alternative plans they would recommend. Their views are summarised in the document which you can download here.
Dear England and Salsa Victory! Great to see fans back at the Euros and a lot of exciting football to keep us entertained. With Wales and Scotland now out of the tournament, England now the last home nation facing Germany on Tuesday. Read the letter Dear England written by Gareth Southgate published in The Players Tribune just before the tournament started. The letter is about the passion of the game but also about how and why football has a responsibility to the wider community, to use its collective voice on matters such as equality, inclusivity and racial injustice. Read Southgate’s letter here.
Ten years ago the England team arrived in Colombia to play in the Under 20s World Cup, and danced their way through Colombian security ( watch here) Can the English team do the same to the German defence on Tuesday?
Football is a worldwide industry. Deloitte has estimated that the European football market in 2018 was worth Euro 25.5 billion (£21.9 billion), driven by the ‘big five’ leagues – England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France. Beyond Europe, football in the world game, a global sport and business with 211 national associations affiliated to FIFA, the world governing body, known also as ‘the United Nations of Football. But to adapt an old cliche, football is more than a game and it is more than a business. Football is rooted in the communities which sustain it, and it is attached to values which represent its importance in and to those communities. In Europe, a number of documents - the Helsinki Declaration (2000), the European Model of Sport (2000) and the European Sports Charter (2001) – all established the idea that sport was of social value, while the European Commission White Paper on Sport (2007) has called for using the potential of sport for social inclusion, integration and equal opportunities. Football foundations have developed projects to prevent and deal with a wide range of social and community causes, bullying and violent behaviours in schools, to integrating refugees and embracing diversity in local communities. Football clubs also promote values and ideals which they require their players to live up to - personal values such as humility, ambition, effort, team work, trust, honesty; and social values such as tolerance, inclusion, equality, diversity and community cohestion and peacebuilding.This new feature of the website is about individual foootballers who have distinguished themselves not only by their acheivments on the pitch, but just as importantly by their personalities and values, and the social values they espouse. Follow this tab to hear their stories, beginning with Lucas Radebe of Leeds United and his relationship with Nelson Mandela in the next page below,.
The proposal to create a Euopean Super League is a real threat to the integrity of the game and its organic link with community. One reason why the competitive culture of the game should be preserved is colourfully expressed in the poem about Leeds United, honouring their defeat of Manchester City, one of the clubs associated with the proposal, by the USA Brooklyn based podcaster, Ode to Bielsa's Boys, here. A very good summary of the European Super League proposal is presented in the TIFO video here. The decisive opposition to the proposed ESL by Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher is presented here.
We begin this feature by reflecting on the career and life of the Leeds United player Lucas Radebe, who introduced Nelson Mandela to the City of Leeds when he was made an honorary freeman of the City in 2001. Coming from the township of Soweto in South Africa, where he was born in 1969, Lucas embodied the values of humility and commitment to community, and also symbolised the struggle of black South Africans for liberation from apartheid. You can watch Mandela speaking in Leeds, introduced by Lucas Radebe
In January this year, Bayern Munich donated 100,000 euros for the reconstruction of a synagogue in Munich, as part of the ongoing commitment of the club to practice a culture of remembrance in different ways with the aim of combating racism and discrimination of all kinds.
The club adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in another effort to further strengthen their culture of remembrance.
In English football, Chelsea have had a Say No to Antisemitism project since March 2018, part of their Foundation’s Building Bridges campaign. Chelsea work with a variety of organisations, including the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Jewish Museum, the Community Security Trust, Kick It Out, the World Jewish Congress, the Anne Frank House and Maccabi GB. Watch #We Remember
The project is innovative and wide ranging, so football4community encourages you to visit the Chelsea Foundation website to find out more. The project includes information about the relationship between football and the British Jewish community historically, and also runs screenings of the documentary film Liga Terezin, that tells the incredible story of the football league which took place in Ghetto Theresienstadt, 40 miles North West of Prague (now in the Czech Republic). The film is used to promote knowledge of the horrors of the holocaust. See more, including a trailer for the film, here Liga Terezin http://www.ligaterezin.com/.
An inspirational story about holocaust survival is the story of Bela Guttman, the Hungarian Jew who not only survived the concentration camps but went on to be successful professional footballer and a manager, winning the European Cup with Benfica in 1961. Read about his life in David Bolchover’s The Greatest Comeback - from Genocide to Football Glory.
British football has a long history of relationship between Jewish communities and football, explored in the case of Leeds in the fascinating accounts written by Anthony Clavane – notably The Promised Land – A Northern Love Story about the relationship between the club and the community, and its importance to the Jewish community in Leeds. Also his brilliantly entitled Does Your Rabbi Know You’re Here, about Jewish involvement in English professional football.
Leeds have had a number of progressive owners from the Jewish community of the city. Leslie Silver was Chairman of Leeds United FC from 1983 to 1996 and had a strong and positive understanding of and commitment to the club community relationship, initiating the first projects at Leeds to require players to engage with community programmes. Read more about him in the biography by John Fisher, Painting the Town Silver.
Music and poetry often capture the emotions around football. Footballers and fans have their ups and downs. Watch Scott Parker on You Tube on the downs, interview remix with the Smiths, Dry your eyes out.
Football is not about hooliganism or racism. Football stadiums and fans who love the game are more than that - - Watch Hibs fans singing The Proclaimers Sunshine on Leith in celebration after winning the Scottish FA Cup Final at Hampden Park in 2016. A joyous and passionate display of love for the team and the community.
It's good to celebrate the inspirational role of women and mothers in football at all levels of the game. Check out the stories at The Women's Football Channel on Twitter @weplaystrong and also players acknowledging the importance of their mothers in supporting their lives as footballers at the FA Facebook page . Also read this great account of the life of Cissie Charlton, the mother of Jack and Bobby Charlton in When Saturday Comes. Born into the Milburn family, the Charlton-Millburn families produced six professional footballers who between themj won 154 international caps. two world cup winners, and 14 winners medals in major competitions. Cissie herself coached a local junior football team in Ashington Northumberland.
Cissie Charlton playing football with her son Bobby
Football anthems are an uplifiting part of the exerience of watching live football. There are many classic examples - Liverpool Kop with You''ll Never Walk Alone; Newcastle United Theme From Local Hero to name a few. See Football Anthems from the website Football Stadiums for more. Here you can listen to the people of Leeds singing Leeds Got Locked Down to Leeds based band Chumbawumba's TubThumping, Click to listen.
75 years ago this week, on the 9th March 1946 33 people were killed in a crush at Burnden Park, when 85,000 people packed into the stadium to watch an FA Cup game between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City. It is estimated that there were over 20,000 fans above the capacity of the stadium, as people eager to see the game after a six year absence of football during during the war. The iconic Stanley Matthews, the first footballer to receive a knighthood, was playing for Stoke City, providing an extra attraction. Read more about this disaster on BBC News. The website Football Stadiums provides a survey of the worst stadium disasters since the stand collapse at Ibrox in 1902, and is a good site to learn about the main stadiums in leagues worldwide.
Celebrate LGBT+ History Month - Lily Parr was born in Preston in 1905 and died there in 1978. She played for the Dick Kerr's Ladies Team and was the first woman footballer to have a statue made of her in the Hall of Fame of the National Football Museum.
New Model Army are a band based in Bradford in the north of England. Lead singer and band founder Justin Sullivan fronts the band in this tribute to the beautiful game and in support of the NGO Spirit of Football. "Spirit of Football CIC is a not–for–proﬁt community interest company dedicated to promoting a very special ball as the “star of the beautiful game” in the run–up to each World Cup. We call it The Ball.The Ball is football’s equivalent to the Olympic Torch. Every four years, it kicks off from Battersea Park in London, where the very first game of modern rules football took place. Its destination is the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup". For the 2014 journey to Brazil, The Ball was made by prisoners enrolled in Pintando a Liberdade, a rehabilitation programme which rewards good behaviour and up-skills.
The fourth epic Spirit of Football journey kicked off on January 9th, 2014, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the first official game played there under the new Football Association rules. Back in 1864, the exhibition match boasted teams consisting of the best football players there were. After the match, The newly-formed Football Association toasted the new rules with an inclusive call-to-action: “Success to football, irrespective of class or creed”.
The origins of womens football can be traced back to the 1880s and 1890s in England and Scotland. This video by TIFO on You Tube presents the early history of the game, emerging as it did as an important part of the Suffragette Movement. The womens game was banned by the Football Association in 1921, on the grounds “…the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged." The FA ban was only lifted fifty years later, in 1971, and the FA apologised for the ban in 2008.
Our firrst video in our Histories Series looked at the origins of the game in England and Scotland. I this second video we get an undestanding of the prejudice and barriers women faced as players - this is part of the excellent TIFO series about football on You Tube. TIFO is part of the group which publishes The Athletic, an online journal for intelligent football comment and analysis. Watch here and we will continue our story of women in football on this page. Look out for new content.
According to the latest figures from UNHCR there are over 80 million forcibly displaced people worldwide - 45 million are IDPs (internally displaced people); 4.2 million are asylum seekers; 26 million are refugees. Find out more about how football can help to support refugees and asylum seekers at https://refugeesandfootball.org/ and for the very latest initiatives of Amnesty International and The Football Association in support of women refugees through football, see e Football Welcomes Refugees programme. In January 2021 the Football Association, in partnership with Amnesty International, guide and online training series which aims to increase refugee women’s participation in grassroots football.
West Ham Women challenge sexist tweets - click on link
See Aston Villas Elizabeta Ejupi of Aston Villa talk about how football helped her as a Kosovan refugee
Pep Guardiola ex Barcelona and Manchester City manager wears OPen Arms logo Hoodie (from The Athletic)
Pep Guardiola has been seen ove the past few months wearing a hoodie with the logo of the Spanish NGO Open Arms prominently displayed during the televised matches of Manchester City. He does this to support the objectives of Open Arms "... to protect the life of the most vulnerable in emergency situations. We originate from a sea rescue company with more than 20 years experience on the Spanish coasts.We protect the lives of those abandoned in international waters fleeing from wars, persecution and poverty. On the mainland we collaborate with healthcare teams and frontline research teams to face health emergencies or any other kind of crisis that requires immediate action." Click here to find out more about Open Arms - where you can buy an Open Arms Hoodie like Pep and be cool while also supporting the NGO!
Pep Guardiola said ....
“The work that Open Arms does is extraordinary in helping to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society,” Guardiola tells The Athletic. “So many of those who are seeking refuge from war, poverty and persecution continue to find themselves in unimaginably difficult situations, often suffering illness, separation from family and, in many cases, loss of life.“Open Arms has built a framework to protect these displaced people, both in the emergency stage when they are at sea but also in educating and supporting them on land. I want to do all I can to help ensure that the valuable work continues.” (from The Athletic 26 Feb 2021).
And Open Arms is also supported by former Barcelona players Xavi Hernandez, Carlos Puyol, and Andres Iniesta, while Foundation of Barcelona FC have funded a programme.
Football has had a strong association with supporting refugees in recent years, partnering with Amnesty International in a high profile Football Welcomes Refugees programme. In January 2021 the Football Association, in partnership with Amnesty International, launched a guide and online training series which aims to increase refugee women’s participation in grassroots football.
The population of the south of Thailand outside of the tourist areas is largely Malay Thai Muslims, many of them in fishing communities descended from Indonesian and Malaysian peoples. The video here is an uplifting story about overcoming poverty and a shortage of land to play football. The south of Thailand is also a place with an ongoing conflict between Muslim groups and the Thai state and military. Read here about how football can be used as a force for peace - Football Bridges the South Divide, from the Bangkok Post.
Sport Unites is the Mayor of London's flagship community sports programme. It supports his long-term vision to make London the most active and socially-integrated city in the world. This programme harnesses the power of sport to bring people from different backgrounds together – strengthening our communities whilst improving the physical and mental health of all Londoners. Sport Unites funds valuable initiatives across the capital.To be the first to know about funding opportunities. See this video covering the projects in the Sport Unites Awards for 2019, focusing on Salaam Peace and other inspiring projects in London.
Uniting the Movement is Sport England's 10-year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity.