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World Football Day: Celebrating the beautiful game

The United Nations, following a resolution by its General Assembly, is celebrating the first ever World Football Day to galvanise the global football community around sustainable development, peace, diplomacy, human rights, healthy environmental practices, cooperation and inclusion.

Girls take part in a UEFA Playmakers event in Budapest, Hungary
Girls take part in a UEFA Playmakers event in Budapest, Hungary UEFA via Getty Images

The year 2024 holds special significance as it marks the 100th anniversary of the first international football tournament in history. On 25 May 1924, during the summer Olympic Games held in Paris, teams from all regions came together to compete. Little did they know that their passion for the sport would lay the foundation for a global phenomenon – one that transcends borders and unites people across cultures.

"UEFA warmly greets the United Nations Resolution, recognising it as a significant milestone for promoting football and physical activity worldwide," said UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin. "World Football Day celebrates the most beautiful game in the world, which, over the years, has become part of the fabric of society, bridging cultural and social divides through the universal language of sport. This celebration will inspire broader participation and promote the fundamental values of our sport, such as respect, fair play, teamwork, inclusion and solidarity.

"European football will always play a vital role in fostering and initiating positive societal trends through its extensive community. We are proud to have been the first to sign the United Nations’ Football for the Goals initiative."

United Nations Under-Secretary-General Melissa Fleming: "The proclamation of 25 May as World Football Day by the United Nations General Assembly by consensus earlier this month is a testament to the unifying power of football, transcending borders and bringing people together in support of shared values. The resolution also welcomed our Football for the Goals Initiative as a platform for the global football community to engage with and advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals and build on sustainability practices. An initiative that gained much traction thanks to the leadership shown by UEFA, our first FFTG member and an active actor in celebrating the joy of the game and reinforcing our collective effort to promote peace, inclusion and sustainable development through football. Together, we can harness the power of the beautiful game to build a better world for all."

Learn about Football for the Goals