World Football Day 25 May

Football as an Enabler for Sustainable Development

Photo: UNICEF ROSA/2017/Nybo

The power of sport plays a surmountable role in the promotion of peace and development, the alleviation of poverty, gender equality, and good health and well-being. Notably, football is the world’s most popular sport, with 4 billion fans worldwide, possessing the potential to create a united global experience by empowering communities and transcending our differences. Hence, on 26 March 2024, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/78/L.56 declaring 25 May as World Football Day. 

In the resolution, the General Assembly encourages all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, in particular the Division for Inclusive Social Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) of the Secretariat,  relevant international and regional organizations, as well as other stakeholders, to support the use of sport and football to promote peace, development, the empowerment of women and girls, and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The resolution additionally encourages member states to facilitate the participation of the athletes in sporting events and competitions,  noting that teams and athletes have the potential to utilize sport for raising public awareness on issues such as climate change and health, and welcomes Football for the Goals, a United Nations initiative, to provide a platform for the global football community to engage with and advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Football, as the most popular global sport, has the unparalleled ability to create spaces and opportunities to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Through its global reach and influence, football can be used to further mobilize resources, inspire change, and raise awareness on the advancement of the goals, both on and off the field.