Green Football Weekend starts this weekend February 3 and is being supported by the EFL and the WSL.
As part of the new green initiative, fans are encouraged to play their part, by scoring ‘green goals’ by making switches to more environmentally friendly actions. Clubs are also taking part, some choosing to wear green armbands to raise awareness.
Green Football Weekend: What Is It and Which Clubs Are Taking Part?
How the Green Football Weekend Works
Some of the ‘green’ actions that fans can score green goals with include forgoing meat for a veggie or vegan meal or taking up active transport.
There’s no denying that football is a huge global sport with billions of fans. As a result, there’s a lot of carbon involved. Whether it’s the fans or players travelling to matches or simply living their daily lives, this is a big group of people to target to raise awareness about climate change.
So this weekend, when fans are encouraged to travel to matches by public transport, or to switch to eating something with a lower carbon footprint it could save a great deal of carbon emissions.
The Green Football Weekend aims to reward these fans for making these green changes by running some prize giveaways. This includes various prizes from sponsors and supporters. Fans can win a signed England shirt, tickets to a Premier League game and much more.
There is also a fan leaderboard, gamifying these climate pledges. At the moment, Manchester United sit top of the table with 13304 green goals, double that of Leicester City, with Leeds United sitting in third place.
Sustainable Football Futures
As football continues to evolve it needs to respond to the climate crisis that we are facing. Some football clubs are already taking big strides towards that.
One of the leading eco-friendly football clubs in the world has to be Forest Green Rovers. Forest Green chairman Dale Vince has created the UK’s first all-vegan football club and plans to develop ‘Eco Park’, an all-wooden 5000 seater stadium.
Moving up the scale, the Premier League’s greenest club Tottenham Hotspur designed their new stadium with people and planet in mind. Everything has been made as green as possible, from the materials used to build the ground, to careful practices to minimise any waste, including excess food waste.
Tottenham was a founding member of the 10:10 initiative, where they cut 10% of their carbon emissions in 2009.
Read More: ‘Done, Sealed. It Won’t Collapse’: Romano Confirms Tottenham Hotspur Revive Deal to Sign 14 G/a Star
This is How Many Clubs are Taking Part in Green Football Weekend 2023
Both Tottenham Hotspur and Forest Green Rovers will be taking part in the Green Football Weekend along with 80 other football clubs.
As much as it is good to see clubs and fans taking part in these sustainable initiatives, there is a certain hypocrisy coming from those clubs that choose to fly to matches over very short distances. Why should a fan get the bus to the match if the flight the players took far outstrips their carbon consumption?
Dave Lockwood, Head of Editorial Sustainability at BBC Sport, said: the common practice of Premier League clubs flying to games “undermines the sport, teams’ and players’ ability to lead change and be advocates for environmental action”.
Lockwood added: “If fans are to follow, football might need to lead.”
Football is joining forces with all kinds of organisations this weekend in the face of climate change. From the RSPB, to the Church of England and the National Trust, it is evident just how intrinsically linked football is to broader walks of life. But, whether the Green Football Weekend is a great big green PR stunt or something that spurs clubs on to take the lead on sustainable practices for fans to follow, is yet to be seen.