Contact us

Subscribe to the Beyond Sport Bulletin

The email is not valid.

Contact us

+44 (0)20 7240 7700 [email protected]

5th Floor, 110 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6JS 119 W. 24th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Football For Peace Campaigns to “Rehydrate the Earth”

March 22, 2024

In recognition of today’s World Water Day, being celebrated under the theme “Water for Peace, global nonprofit Football for Peace (FfP) has kicked off a 10-year campaign to use the sport to tackle water issues worldwide. “Rehydrating The Earth” will raise awareness and establish partnerships to prevent and reduce water scarcity while eliminating the tensions around related environmental challenges between communities.

The world is in the midst of a global water crisis, with 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. And over the past 50 years, water-related disasters have dominated the list of disasters. UN Water has emphasized water’s ability to create peace or spark conflict. “Public health and prosperity, food and energy systems, economic productivity and environmental integrity all rely on a well-functioning and equitably managed water cycle. When it is scarce or polluted, or when people struggle for access, tensions can rise. As nations manage climate change, mass migration and political unrest, they must put water cooperation at the heart of their plans,” states the agency.

Some description

Rehydrating the Earth focuses specifically on groundwater, a critical source of drinking water and essential for agriculture globally. However, large knowledge gaps exist in understanding its significance. Football federations, professional clubs and athletes are therefore supporting the campaign which seeks to spread awareness, engage communities, run projects worldwide and advocate for policies to improve conservation. In the lead up to the FIFA World Cup 2026 (Canada, Mexico, US), the FIFA World Cup 2030 (Morocco, Portugal, Spain) and the FIFA World Cup Saudi Arabia 2034, the initiative will help address global division and water scarcity by working closely with the public and private sectors through football activations and projects in different cities.

FfP currently runs programs across Africa, Asia, UK and the US, and most recently has co-chaired a UN Think Tank on Water with the International Groundwaters Resources Assessment Centre to activate the football and diplomatic community for World Water Day. As stated on its website, “football moves the masses and makes it an ideal vehicle to transcend differences and unite people on shared resources, making it a valuable tool in the realm of diplomacy and legislative change...Let's play for a world where water means life for everyone.”

 Some description

On the eve of World Water Day, the campaign launched with special events in the UK and US with leadership of the bipartisan Congressional Global Water Security Caucus, UK Children's Parliament, athletes, diplomats and youth from across diverse faith communities. “Water is the essence of life, not just for us but for every living being on this planet. As footballers, we understand the importance of staying hydrated for peak performance. But beyond the pitch, in communities around the world, the scarcity of water is a critical challenge,” stated former professional footballer Oumar Niasse.

“That's why the Rehydrate the Earth project is so crucial. It's more than just a campaign; it's a lifeline, a call to action for each of us to contribute towards securing a future where clean water is accessible to all. Together, we can turn the tide on water scarcity and safeguard our planet for generations to come."

Following World Water Day, children in the UK will be participating in Most Valuable Peacemakers (MVP) Tournaments bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian youth to play on the same team in addition to children from other religious backgrounds to promote unity and camaraderie. In the US, MVP pilot programs will run in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD and Miami, FL, where diverse youth from different faiths will be upskilled on water and will unite alongside professional soccer and football heroes to promote the campaign.


Beyond Sport Recommends

Women's History Month 2024 Edition