The importance of football’s link with global education and social youth development will be highlighted on the sport’s most significant stage FIFA world cup, with ‘Education for All’ announced as a key pillar of the Football Unites the World campaign.
The primacy of protecting positive values in football and extending a sizeable positive impact on society through the power of the sport are crucial elements of President Gianni Infantino’s Vision 2020-2023 and has been integral to a number of recent projects.
Education was at the heart of the pilot phase of what is now the Africa Schools Champions Cup in Benin in 2021, with training even extended to young, aspiring journalists working on the tournament. The sport has also been used as a tool for knowledge development through numerous launches of Football 4 Schools.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic occasioned the largest disruption of education in history, with 244 million children across the world out of school and 70% of 10-year-olds unable to understand simple written text. This strand of the Football Unites the World campaign aims to drive awareness to the need to end education poverty and reinforce that education is a human right.
“Football really brings everyone together,” said FIFA Legend Ayegbeni Yakubu during a recent visit to a FIFA Football 4 Schools project in Tonga. “You see that everyone wants to be there and to play. In my city, when you see kids like that, you [put] a game together and you educate them as well. If you want to play football, then you also need to go to school.” FIFA.