The Ball — football’s equivalent to the Olympic Torch — moved a step closer to its Auckland destination when it arrived in Vietnam this week.
The project to promote climate action and gender equality visits Hanoi from March 9-11, 2023, where it will be signed by former Vietnam international Minh Nguyet and others.
The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Vietnam Office and the Hanoi Academy for Journalism and Communication are hosting The Ball for this part of its journey from the site of the world’s first official game of football in Battersea Park, London, in 1864, to Eden Park in Auckland where the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will kick-off on July 20, 2023.
On the Ball’s journey, signatures and pledges have been gathered to support gender equality and climate action around the world.
In its six journeys to World Cups, The Ball has been signed by more than 55,000 people across 55 countries since 2002.
Over the past year, 52 partner organizations have come together to organise more than 30 events and workshops that harness the love people have for football to encourage action on climate change and gender equality.
In Hanoi, Spirit of Football will share its educational methods on sustainability and gender equality.
After the two-day workshop with students from the Hanoi Academy for Journalism and Communication, The Ball will attend a public event at the Academy. The workshop in Hanoi will include a digital link-up to the German Bundesliga Football Club Werder Bremen.
The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Vietnam says the visit will raise awareness for climate action through the event:
“Vietnam is one of the most affected countries by climate change. At the same time, Vietnam has become a big emitter of greenhouse gases, too. Bringing the Ball to this country that is crazy for football is a great chance to gain support and awareness for socially just climate action.”
The Hanoi Academy for Journalism and Communication sees hosting The Ball as a contribution to efforts to reducing Vietnam’s emissions:
“Vietnam is increasingly heavily affected by climate change impacts. We are honoured to join The Ball as we are committed to the country’s target Net Zero by 2050. We commit to join hands in reducing emissions for the safety and development of our Earth.”
The first person to sign The Ball on its 12-month global climate action and advocacy mission was Football Fern Katie Rood, who plays for Hearts in Scotland, and who kicked off The Ball’s journey in London.
“Everyone loves the World Cup, but if we are to be able to continue playing it in the future, we need collective and urgent climate action. The journey of The Ball across land and sea from London to New Zealand is an opportunity for football to get its environmental act in order. I am going to take action. Are you?”
Spirit of Football’s Ambassador and Liverpool FC manager Jürgen Klopp is also supporting The Ball: “It is a ball for us all. Be part of our team. Everyone can play. Respect your teammates, your opponents and the environment. One Ball, One World.”
How you can help
Do you want to be involved in the project? Follow The Ball’s journey and make your own pledge.