The Ball set for fifth journey to FIFA World Cup
“The Ball 2018” – Football’s Olympic Torch – has set off for its fifth journey to the FIFA World Cup.
In 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, “The Ball” touched people in communities in over 50 countries across five continents. The Ball 2018 kicks off where every journey of The Ball has started – the place where the very first official game of FA Rules football was played in 1864 – Battersea Park in London.
The original match was followed by a concert at which The Football Association was launched with the toast “Success to football, irrespective of class or creed”. This shows that, from its very founding moment, football was based on the notions of inclusion and participation. We believe that this is an important message – perhaps more so today than ever.
The centerpiece of the kick-off event is always a game of football. The founding principles of fair play and respect should not only be a part of every game but can be a way of life. The Ball’s 2018 destination is the FIFA World Cup in Russia and will, en route, visit 19 countries and celebrate football’s unique capacity to bring people together and to do good.
For the first time, a “Sister Ball” will showcase the Equal Playing Field campaign. Women’s sport remains underrepresented, undersupported and undervalued. In many cultures, women are forbidden from playing sport at all. The Ball’s journey in 2018 would like to highlight women’s football in various countries en route to Russia, including the Spirit of Football’s “One Ball, One World” project supported by the German Foreign Ministry, in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan.
The Ball 2018, following the example of fairly-made balls of 2010 and 2014, is a Fairtrade ball. It was hand made by our ball-partner Derbystar, travelling with a message given to it by Special Olympics in Lagos, Nigeria in 2010 that captures the spirit of football perfectly: “One Ball, One World.” The Ball journeys are the fair play DNA of Spirit of Football and the origins of modern football are also rooted in this spirit.