It is often said that football is the best thing in the world. You could already see that – at least as far as the German national team is concerned – at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, when the team around captain Manuel Neuer were more interested in rainbow armbands and politically correct behavior than in their actual mission: winning matches.
Many people feel that sports are being pushed more and more to the background in major leagues and are instead being overshadowed by social and political discussions about climate protection and human rights. Preparations for the 2024 European Football Championship, which will kick off in Germany in less than a year, reinforce this impression.
UEFA strategy: EM 2024 in Germany a ‘model to follow’
UEFA has now presented its strategy by which it intends to make EM 2024 “the most sustainable European football tournament ever”. The tournament aims to become “a model for world events of this kind”. And environmental protection issues are among the “most important priorities for the organization of the event,” as it says unequivocally.
UEFA outlines its plans in 36 pages – initially only available in English. The goals and standards include:
- construction Gender neutral toilets In all stadiums, the so-called unisex toilets. This can Everyone uses it, regardless of their gender. There is no gender segregation here.
- an offer Vegetarian and vegan at all stages. There should be “healthy food and drink options” everywhere.
- Cigarette ban in the stadiums (“no smoking policy”).
- the Strict water saving like toilets. There should be “grey water” used there as much as possible, i.e. wastewater free of faeces and slightly polluted that can be used again through treatment.
- Reducing electricity consumption and using renewable energies in stadiums. This is how it should be The duration of the floodlight It is reduced before and after the game, as well as the energy consumption of the IMC.
UEFA wants to “raise awareness” of environmental and climate protection
- the Avoid or reduce waste . In and around playgrounds there should be no- or low-packaging products as well as reusable cups or eco-friendly cups.
- Reducing the carbon footprint of spectators, organizers and teams Climate friendly travel to places By train, public transport or bike. Team fleets (cars, buses, trucks) must be low-emissions. The concept states: “Each team must implement a plan to reduce emissions.”
- All stadiums are supposed to be finished Own bicycle parking spaces And designate pedestrian paths so that as many spectators as possible can walk or cycle in the stadium.
- prevent f Fighting all forms of discrimination in the stadiums. For example, ‘report points’ should be set up for staff, volunteers and spectators.
- Promote to Diversity and Inclusion In recruiting workers and volunteers for EM. The motto should be “Equal Access and Opportunity” for all. Hired employees must be “diversity and inclusion embracing.”
- Launch a campaign focused on sustainability. You want it with all EM participants and spectators “Awareness” and environmental and climate protection. To mitigate the “inevitable emissions related to the tournament,” money should be invested in the Climate Fund.
- consistent Defending human rights . UEFA wants to “try to organize the EM Championship in accordance with international human rights principles”.
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Visser (SPD), who appeared at the World Cup in Qatar with the “One Love” badge as a symbol of tolerance and against discrimination and received heavy criticism for it, welcomed UEFA’s plans: “I am very pleased that we will organize a sustainable Euro 2024 according to these values.”
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Visser is full of praise
UEFA and the German Football Association (DFB) have already presented a similar plan of action in 2021. Among other things, it recommends “healthy foods and drinks” during the European Championships. Specifically: “Dishes that are alcohol-free, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free, and nut-free.”
According to the newspaper, they want to work closely “with some stakeholders” when developing an emerging markets strategy, which is “of great importance” to the tournament’s success.
Among the listed “stakeholders” are associations and organizations such as the Federal Center for Health Education, the Lesbian and Gay Association of Germany, the German Federation for Nature Conservation, the Foundation for Global Ethics, the Council for Sustainable Development, the German Circle for Nature Conservation, the Federal Association of Immigrant Organizations Networks and the Federal Agency for Civic Education.
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