Football important to the national economy

Latvia has undertaken thorough research under the UEFA GROW social return on investment model that aims to show the benefits of mass participation in ensuring sustainable investment and strategic partnerships in Latvian football.

Latvian FA president Kaspars Gorkšs (centre) speaks at a press conference
Latvian FA president Kaspars Gorkšs (centre) speaks at a press conference ©LFF

Latvia is one of the few countries to have undertaken thorough research under the UEFA GROW social return on investment model that aims to show the benefits of mass participation in ensuring sustainable investment and strategic partnerships in Latvian football.

This research has provided the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) and local government with unique tangible evidence that investing in mass participation has a significant impact in terms of economic value, social and health benefits, and elite football performance. The results illustrate the potential impact of additional grassroots investments on participation.

In September the scope of the research and the results were presented to the Latvian government and made public by the LFF president, Kaspars Gorkšs, and Tim Crabbe from the research and technology company Substance.

The research shows in particular that football currently makes a direct annual contribution to the Latvian economy of €27.8m, together with social benefits of €2.1m and healthcare savings of €15m. Calculations show that an additional €1m in annual football investments would result in 8,500 new registered players in Latvia, which translates to €12.8m in benefits to the national economy.

“The LFF is in the process of highlighting benefits from investing in football thanks to the support it gets from UEFA. We invite our government to become an important ally in furthering the societal and economic benefits from football and sport in general,” said Kaspars Gorkšs.

This article originally appeared in UEFA Direct 181

 

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