The attention that FIFA has drawn from the international community over the last week has been nothing short of explosive—like an overinflated ball bursting at the seems after years of having been filled with the intrigue and suspicion that surrounds how the beautiful game is administered. I can’t wait for the movie.
The good news is that, whatever the outcome for FIFA and its officials from this round of attention, people around the world will continue to play the game and support the teams that they love. Their passion for the game will always be bigger than the indiscretions of the officials and players that abuse their confidence and trust.
And that’s also good news for the 2015 Women’s World Cup which gets underway June 6, and with it the hopes and aspirations of nations around the world. What’s special about this event is that it takes place against a backdrop of a growing global movement focused on empowering women for the good of us all.
The greatest contribution that this World Cup could make to the world at this time— and to the growing criticism around Blatter’s FIFA as a self-indulgent behemoth—would be to draw attention to the injustices that women around the world face and the hugely positive role that women have to play in helping us to navigate a sustainable future.
Wouldn’t it be great if FIFA used this occasion of the 2015 Women’s World Cup to announce a commitment to support this growing movement of women’s empowerment by including women in its structures, from top to bottom, and by using the engagement power of its various events to draw attention to both the issues that women face and the opportunity that empowering them represents. Now that would be using the power of FIFA for a purpose and something that fans, sponsors and players could all get behind.
One World Play Project and their partners are doing their part for women’s empowerment through a new advocacy and play initiative they recently launched called “All Girls Can Play.” The initiative is built around the inspiring stories of girls and young women such as Linda, Camila, Fernanda, Viridiana, Karolyn and so many others—each living very different lives in different geographies but all connected having benefitted from the opportunity to play. The #AllGirlsCanPlay movement is testament to the power of play to provide hope, optimism and opportunity in situations where this might not otherwise have been the case—and to the fact that where play happens, change happens.
You can support the movement by donating a One World Futbol to the recipient organisations, including BAWSI and Women Win, who are using play to empower girls, and by joining our growing list of partners committed to making it possible for more girls to play more often.
I believe #AllGirlsCanPlay. Join the #AllGirlsCanPlay initiative to empower girls worldwide through play at allgirlscanplay.com