It's time to unleash the potential of football for good

Unleash Football is a global collective of football fans who want their game to be a greater source for social good. Our goal is to give fans the chance to shape the future of football.


This Is Your Football


We asked you for your dreams for football. You told us about a game where everyone is an equal. Where diversity matters. Where the connection between the stars on TV and the kids playing on the street is real and meaningful. You told us about the game you wanted to see—the game that would change the world.




Read more about our findings and our recommendations in the Unleash Football White Paper: How to Unleash the Power of Football to Change the World.

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The 2016 FIFA presidential candidates on football for good

All five FIFA presidential candidates gave us an exclusive look at their take on gender equality, finances and communities, and agreed to let you decide who has the strongest ideas for turning football into a greater source for good.

Football fans in over 80 countries around the world have now voted for the most influential position in football.


Will the federations agree?

Unleash Football thanks all five candidates for entering our public discussion on football for good, and looks forward to continuing the conversation with each of them in the coming months and years—on behalf of everyone who wants to unleash the power of football for good.


The FIFA World Cup winners were awarded $35 million in 2014 and $2 million in 2015. The difference: 2015 was the women’s tournament. FIFA’s recent decision to create a more diverse, gender-equal environment and culture signals the start of a refreshing change: its Executive Committee currently consists of 24 men and just three women. Unleash respondents raised the issue of gender inequality in every aspect of the game, from promotion and media coverage to leadership and participation, and had practical ideas for creating balance. It’s time to level the playing field.

Q: What do you believe is the most important step towards gender equality in football?

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein: I would tackle gender balancing and policies on FIFA bodies, address best practices such as equal pay for equal work, commit to having an outside entity credentialed in this area to measure progress on gender balance. Read more
I would have a separate budget for Women’s football derived from new revenues, maximise the commercial potential of the Women’s World Cups, create an incubator in Fifa where its high-growth, high-potential concepts/projects go; e.g. where we want to see the next WWC and what it takes to get there. I would work on a real growth strategy to improve access to the sport globally as well as increase financial resourcing and rewarding FAs that go beyond the minimum quotas for women football and show real commitment with additional funding as well as increasing programs from FIFA to help develop female coaches and referees.

Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa: The AFC under Shaikh Salman’s leadership is not preaching but delivering: the AFC ExCo has more female Members than any other Confederation or FIFA. WE have made it a point to not only encourage women and girls to play the game but we are delivering on our promise to have women participate also at the top levels, above all the administration of the game.  Read more
Asia’s women have a strong interest in our game, and some of our Members are among the best players in the world – mention Japan, China, South Korea or Australia: they all compete competitively with increasing success.

The AFC has demonstrated through its gender equality initiatives that we mean it when we say that we actively encourage and support women’s football: our Confederation is a leader in women’s football around the world.

Having said all that, I can firmly state that we have delivered for women and girls and it is one of our core objectives in the Confederation that I have been successfully leading to further encourage young girls, young women to excel by receiving our active and determined support.


Jérôme Champagne: The most important is to have more women and girls playing the game and it is moving in the right direction. For ex. The Norwegian FA reached a total parity among members of its ExCo. The number of registered female players reached 100,000. And more and more women have leadership positions in the football pyramid. Three women are presidents of a FA (Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Turks & Caicos) Read more
and a lot of others are general secretaries such as in France, Grenada, or deputy general secretary of the Oceania Football Confederation. But it is not enough and my platform contains the following elements:

– creation of a women club world cup to stimulate the strengthening and creation of women’s national leagues around the world

– creation of the “women football division” inside FIFA to stimulate even more the development

– establishment of a quota of women in all FAs executive committees around the world as it was for ex. decided in Germany by Chancellor Merkel for the board of administrators of German companies.


Gianni Infantino: As outlined in my Manifesto, I want to see intensified efforts to promote the women’s game and ensure more diversity at FIFA HQ, and that includes employing more talented women. The growth potential in women’s football is enormous – after all, they make up half the world’s population. FIFA must be a leading force for making sure that football seizes this great opportunity to take the women’s game to the next level, Read more
from grass roots coaching, through continued growth in the exposure of the Women’s World Cup and developing professional leagues across the world. And an essential part of this progress must be to see more women in leadership roles in football.


Tokyo Sexwale: Women’s participation in football should be free from discrimination, with childhood mentorships, expert coaching, and real access to training and playing facilities including academies. Thus the injection of funds into women’s football by global sponsors needs encouragement, including by government sport ministries, especially in the less developed areas of the world. Read more
Special attention should be laid on open channel broadcasting of women’s football–not just the women’s World Cup–to educate the public and to encourage young players.


Last season, the 20 highest earning clubs alone generated €6.6 billion in revenues. Unleash supporters have outstanding ideas for redirecting the massive sums involved in everything from player transfers and salaries to media rights toward initiatives that capitalise on the power of football for good. While some advocated reducing the amount of funds that flow through the football industry, the greater focus was on making better use of it. One message in particular emerged loud and clear: a set percentage of revenue must be devoted to social change. Football can be an effective way to share the wealth of the rich with the disadvantaged—the business of football can, and should, benefit everyone.

Q: How can the football industry go further to use the revenue it generates for social good?

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein: I would increase FIFA’s Social responsibility budget to be a leader in best practices in par with major organisations. As well as support including financially, FAs who create a social responsibility component in their organisation or who have specific social responsibility programs. Read more
I would introduce a new program in Fifa to support footballers with disabilities or visual and auditory impairments.

I would take my experience with AFDP the non profit organisation which I created in Asia and implement that model on a global scale. Partnering with NGOs companies and Governments in order to maximise the outreach and potential of social responsibility programs across the world through the power of football.


Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa: Let us not forget that FIFA already contributes large sums each year to good causes. Not everything that FIFA did over the years was bad, wrong or despicable. FIFA’s corporate social responsibility is way ahead of any other sports organisation, and FIFA’s Annual Activity report speaks a clear language about that. Read more
Can FIFA do more? Certainly. Will FIFA do more under my presidency if elected: definitely. Football must be the source of positivity, a source of strength for those who are less fortunate and have access to less opportunities than the developed world. Coming from an Asian country, I am fully aware of the plight of hundreds of millions of people. And anything I can do to improve that, will be done. Be that through FIFA and football, or be that as a private individual: those who have, must always give.


Jérôme Champagne: It does already at FIFA’s level considering the amount of money dedicated to football development. When I was in FIFA, I was advocating the objective of 0.7% of FIFA’s income to be earmarked for CSR projects in order to match the UN objective. This would represent 35 million $ out of a 5B$ quadrennial budget. Read more
A lot can be done in a lot of areas: football against discrimination and for diversity, gender-equality programs, football for health, establishment of special programs for reconciliation in war-torn areas and/or regions with conflicts.


Gianni Infantino: In my Manifesto I call for at least 50% of FIFA’s income to be distributed to its 209 Member Associations for development projects. This would be a very significant increase in the funding for grassroots football programmers across the globe, from new community pitches to the training of coaches to new balls and kit for example. This is something that FIFA can control, drive directly and is desperately needed in many countries. Read more
I also want to see an even greater focus on using football as a force for social good; our sport has some incredible role models and sponsor partners and we need to ensure that they are properly utilised to help reach young people across the world and show how football can change lives for the better.


Tokyo Sexwale: Firstly, this presupposes that the industry must continue to have sustainable revenue generation as it is senseless to “go further” without this. Because funds are generally limited, their utilization for social good should be high-impact. This includes projects like additional classrooms in disadvantaged areas, mobile clinics and youth centres with internet cafes for recreational and educational purposes, includind anti-discrimination campaigns. Read more
What has proved to be very high impact are sponsored media campaigns against epidemics like HIV-AIDS and Ebola “wash hands” campaigns. Of late the Zika outbreak in Brazil would be a case in point.


Football is rooted in communities. From a game of pick-up with the kids down the street to a professional match with locals filling the stands, communities are at the heart of the beautiful game. And yet, so many respondents bemoaned a disconnect between professional football and local communities: players and clubs alike are forgetting where they come from. Rebuilding meaningful links between professional football and local communities would re-establish football as a democratic game in which everyone is a valuable contributor to making football great. The closer together we come, the more effectively we can work together towards a common goal.

Q: How can a more meaningful connection be established between professional football and local communities?

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein: By reshaping FIFA’s Development Programs making them fair, generous and flexible. Approaching projects on a case by case basis beginning with where they are needed most,and creating regional development offices staffed by knowledgeable professionals from the region.Read more
Creating a scholarship program for FAs who are in need of coaches but have difficulty covering the costs. As well as engaging with elite leagues and clubs, in order to take local coaches for a period of time to observe and experience the elite level of the game and bring that that knowledge home.

Engaging clubs and FAs as well as ministries worldwide to combat racism and discrimination by taking it from slogans in stadiums to real education programs that penetrate communities and schools.


Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa: This is a key element of my campaign and I have presented it to well over 100 Member Associations over the past few months. Without grassroots development, there cannot be any progress and growth. Without progress, the small nations – who form the vast majority of the football community – will never achieve the dream that all Members dream: to take part in a world cup. Read more
Therefore, one of my core objectives is to maximise our support for the grassroots. And I am as committed to it as FIFA President, if elected, as I have always been as the president of my country’s association and as President of the Asian Football Confederation.


Jérôme Champagne: A huge quantity of professional clubs in the world has already this kind of links with their respective local communities with various programs of social engagement, CSR, etc… Two years ago I visited the two EPL clubs in Liverpool and came back very impressed by the programs implemented by Everton and FC Liverpool. The work done by the Barça Foundation is as well admirable.


Gianni Infantino: One of my many Manifesto proposals is the creation of a FIFA Legends Team that would play local teams in every corner of the world, and promote football as a tool for good. They would also be part of an international network of football ambassadors to drive football charity projects and show youngsters just how powerful football can be to change lives. Read more
In my role as General Secretary of UEFA, I have established a good working relationship with clubs, broadcasters and sponsors and I would be keen to work with them and other football stakeholders to support and promote football development and local projects.


Tokyo Sexwale: There is meaningful connection already between professional football and their communities. More meaningful would imply having sustainable projects like availing more time to communities for football development projects such as training and coaching the youth, investing in exciting information technology projects, and the building of football related infrastructure. Read more
The availability of Professional Stars as mentors to the local youth is a sure winner. They are seen as role models.

Involvement in community projects like fund-raising for good local causes, including taking a stand for campaigns like affordable match tickets.

Thank-you for adding your voice to Unleash Football! Sign up now for updates on how we’re making your voice heard throughout the football world.



We believe football should be...



Fun, entertaining and an eternal source of happiness and glory.


Football today is of course big business, but profit should be allied with responsibility and social purpose. Institutions should exist to serve the good of the game.


Football is for everyone, irrespective of gender, race, creed or ABILITY. There’s no place for discrimination of any kind in our game.


Football is a common good – played by all, paid for by all, driven by all.


Decisions in the world of football governance affect all of us, so we should be allowed to see the truth for ourselves.


Evolution is necessary to keep any great thing vital and alive. We embrace innovation, technology and the power of ideas to shape a better future.