Hanine El Mir
A football charity initiative, called Common Goal, was launched on Aug. 4 of this year. The idea behind this initiative is to one day reach a point where 1% of the entirety of annual football industry revenues is donated to change people’s lives for the better through football. This is done at the moment through football players donating 1% of their own annual revenues.
The football industry’s annual revenues are currently estimated to be in the region of $30,000,000,000.
The initiative was launched by an NGO, called streetfootballworld, in collaboration with Spanish footballer Juan Mata, commonly known as the “nice guy” of football. The NGO’s online biography states that they “harness the power of football for good” and the hashtag #FootballForGood is often used in their posts. Mata gave the initiative its name to hint at how football players from various nationalities and ethnic backgrounds all come together and play in one team to score a “common goal” to help them win the game.
He especially references the 2012 Champions League Final in which Chelsea, who Mata played for at the time before his move to Manchester United in Jan. 2014, defeated Bayern Munich despite being the clear underdogs. He wants to transfer this feeling of cooperation and team spirit onto charitable work.
Mata is certain that a power this strong is capable of causing real change in the world. To him, football is more than just a sport; it is hope.
The Manchester United midfielder has since then inspired 18 other football players to follow in his footsteps and still pushes for the cause to get more recognition, in hopes that one day they will reach their goal. The latest high-profile addition to the donors’ list is Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa, who played with Mata during his spell at Manchester United. Stuttgart’s Dennis Aogo pledged to give 2% of his revenues instead of the 1% the rest are donating.
Some other players who have pledged to take part in the initiative so far are Orlando Pride’s Alex Morgan, Arsenal’s Heather O’Reilly, Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini, Bayern Munich’s Mats Hummels, Bournemouth’s Charlie Daniels, and young Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann.
The NGO is also interested in other forms of social justice and working on smaller side projects. They work towards achieving gender equality which explains why many of the international players who pledged to help are females.