NEWS

Green hypocrisy in sport

Trouw sport journalist John Graat discusses the misleading climate neutrality claims by the Qatar World Cup organizers ánd mentions Frank‘s year off to work on Fossil Free Football.
 

Bad Sports Awards for Greenwashing and Sportswashing go to the Qatar Men's World Cup and Manchester City

Our friends at Badvertising organized the Bad Sports Awards for Greenwashing and Sportwashing. Some well-deserved winners!
 

Interview in "Voetbal International"

Very glad to be interviewed by Dutch renowned football magazine and website “Voetbal International” and call out polluting sponsors.

Oil field

Very honoured to be featured in this wonderful column by Carolina Trujillo in Dutch newspaper NRC.
She called upon climate concerned football fans to join Fossil Free Football.
 
 

Opinion piece op Voetbalzone.nl

Voetbalzone is a favourite website for many Dutch football fans, gathering the latest news updates. We published an opinion piece there.
 

ING Fossil Free: we went to the Johan Cruijff Arena for Netherlands - Belgium

Our team went to the Johan Cruijff Arena with a banner to call upon KNVB sponsor ING to go Fossil Free.
Though the banner was not accepted at the entrance, we did get some good photos and interested looks outside.

Interview at Dutch national public radio: Vroege Vogels

Frank was interviewed by Dutch radio programme Vroege Vogels (“Early Birds”) and talked about Fossil Free Football. Some specific attention for our action to ask Dutch football association KNVB to kick out ING Bank because of its continued fossil fuel financing.

https://www.nporadio1.nl/nieuws/binnenland/2f6547c5-4c36-423e-aeeb-92367591604d/maak-de-voetballerij-fossielvrij

Voetbalfans roepen KNVB op om sponsor ING eruit te schoppen

 

Rondom de Nations League-wedstrijd Nederland-België op 25 september – waarbij beide teams gesponsord worden door ING – roepen voetbalfans verenigd in Fossil Free Football de ING Bank op te stoppen met fossiele investeringen.

Daarnaast hebben Fossil Free Football en ING Fossielvrij 15 september jl. een brief aan de KNVB gestuurd, waarin de bond wordt opgeroepen de sponsoring door ING te stoppen vanwege de rol die ING speelt in het aanjagen van de klimaatcrisis.

Fossil Free Football is een initiatief vanuit voetbalfans, met als doel voetbalbonden en -clubs aan te moedigen sponsoren die ernstige klimaatschade toebrengen uit het voetbal te schoppen en het voetbal duurzamer te organiseren.

De klimaatcrisis raakt alles, dus ook het voetbal. Extreme hitte, droogte of extreme regenval maakt het veld onbespeelbaar en brengt spelers en fans in gevaar. Denk aan afgelopen zomer met alle hitterecords. In Nederland was het vaak al te heet om buiten te voetballen. In Frankrijk, Spanje, Portugal en Italië was het nog veel warmer. Vanwege de extreme hitte en vervuilde lucht door de bosbranden moesten veel kinderen deze zomer binnen blijven, in plaats van op straat te voetballen. Stel dat we deze zomer daar een EK of WK hadden gehad, hoeveel wedstrijden zouden er dan geannuleerd zijn? In Engeland hebben ze steeds vaker last van voetbalvelden die onder water staan na extreme regenval. En dan hebben we het enkel nog over Europa, de klimaatcrisis raakt veel voetbalgekke landen in Afrika nu al veel harder.

De klimaatcrisis bedreigt dus het voortbestaan van onze geliefde sport zoals we die nu kennen. Hier is gelukkig steeds meer aandacht voor, maar de daden blijven achter, onder meer wat betreft het sponsorbeleid van bonden en clubs.

Oproep aan de ING Bank en de KNVB

Waarom de focus op de KNVB en de ING Bank? ING sponsort al jaren de KNVB en Oranje. Daarmee dragen ze bij aan de belangrijke doelstellingen van de KNVB: voetbal voor iedereen toegankelijk maken. Het positieve imago van de KNVB, van het hele Nederlandse voetbal en van Oranje straalt af op ING. Helaas steekt ING nog veel meer geld in fossiele bedrijven dan in voetbal. In 2021 was dit 11 miljard euro, gemiddeld gaat het om 9 miljard euro per jaar (zie o.a. BankTrack en FossielvrijNL voor achtergronden). Daarmee jaagt de bank de klimaatcrisis verder aan en gaat het tegen alle adviezen van de VN en het Internationale Energie Agentschap in. Dit geld is ook hard nodig om de overstap naar hernieuwbare energie te financieren.

Frank Huisingh van Fossil Free Football: “ING verdient dit mooie podium niet. De klimaatcrisis bedreigt ook het voetbal. In de extreme hitte, op een ondergelopen of een uitgedroogd veld kun je niet voetballen. Dan is het bizar, als KNVB, om je te laten sponsoren door een bank die de klimaatcrisis blijft aanjagen.”

Sponsoring door bedrijven die veel klimaatschade veroorzaken komt veel voor in het voetbal. Van Liverpool met StandardChartered, tot TotalEnergies met de Afrika Cup en de vele clubs met vliegtuigmaatschappijen als sponsor. Op steeds meer plekken wordt hier tegen geprotesteerd door supporters. In Liverpool voeren fans actie tegen de sponsoring door StandardChartered. Bayern München fans spreken zich uit tegen sponsor QatarAirways. Net als tabaksreclame moet ook fossiele reclame en sponsoring uit het voetbal verdwijnen.

De brief aan de KNVB is een initiatief van Fossil Free Football en wordt ondersteund door burgerbeweging FossielvrijNL, die onder andere de campagne ‘ING Fossielvrij’ voert.

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Voor vragen kunt u contact opnemen met:

Frank Huisingh; 0646998442; frank@fossilfreefootball.org. Zie ook www.twitter.com/FossilFreeFoo

September 25, 2022

Football fans call upon Dutch football association KNVB to kick out sponsor ING Bank

During the Nations League match between the Netherlands and Belgium on the 25th September, football fans will stage a protest against ING Bank, the main sponsor of both teams, for its continued investment into fossil fuel projects around the world.

Last week, Fossil Free Football and Fossielvrij NL (the Dutch sister organisation to 350.org) sent a letter to the Dutch football association, KNVB, in which they called for the end of the sponsorship deal between ING at the Netherlands national team.

The climate crisis threatens the beautiful game today and in the near future. As public concern grows around the climate crisis, and demands for greater action grow louder, football clubs can play a pivotal role in providing sustainable leadership, engaging fans, and ensuring the legacies of their clubs for decades to come. A recent survey of over 1,400 football fans in the UK revealed that over 90% agreed on the importance of protecting the environment and fighting climate change.

ING are the focus of this protest due to their long term relationship with the KNVB and the Dutch national team. In this way, they contribute to the important goals of the KNVB: to make football accessible for everyone. This positive image of the KNVB, Dutch football and the Dutch national teams reflects on ING. But when it comes to the climate, the bank invests more in fossil fuel companies than in football. In 2021 this amounted to 11 billion EUR, the average is 9 billion EUR a year (see BankTrack and FossielvrijNL for more background on this). Through this, the ING Bank finances the climate crisis, against the urgent advice of the UN and the International Energy Agency to halt new investments into fossil fuels.

Frank Huisingh, of Fossil Free Football, said: “When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, ING is playing for the other team. The climate crisis directly threatens football and those that love to play it and watch it. We can already see how floods, extreme heat and unpredictable rainfall patterns are impacting the beautiful game – and things will get worse without moving our economy away from fossil fuels. It is bizarre for KNVB, the highest football governing body in the Netherlands, to continue a sponsorship deal with a bank that directly finances the climate crisis.”

Sponsorship and advertisements by climate polluters is very common in football. From Liverpool with StandardCharted, to the Africa Cup of Nations with TotalEnergies, as well as the many renowned clubs sponsored by airlines and SUV manufacturers.

There is a groundswell of football fan backlash against these high-carbon sponsorship deals, including Liverpool fans campaigning against their club’s sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered and Bayern Munich fans speaking out against sponsor QatarAirways. Just like tobacco ads were snuffed out in the 1980s, fossil fuel ads and sponsorship deals need to be kicked out of football.

The letter to the KNVB is an initiative by Fossil Free Football and supported by Fossielvrij NL, which currently campaigns for a fossil free ING. Fossil Free Football is a grassroots initiative by football fans, with the goal of pushing football associations and clubs to kick out climate polluting sponsors and organise football in a more sustainable way.

September 25, 2022

Opinion piece in Dutch newspaper “Parool”

On the occasion of the 2022 Champions League final, originally scheduled in St Petersburg and relocated to Paris, I published this opinion piece in Dutch newspaper “het Parool” on the 31st of May.

Getting started!

We’re getting started! Climate concerned football fans unite! Unite behind a common goal, kicking out climate killing sponsors from football. Football has grown into a gigantic industry with huge sponsor deals. Many of those sponsors sell high-carbon products. They are fossil fuel giants, airlines or car companies selling petrol cars. UEFA with Gazprom, Schalke 04 with Gazprom, Arsenal with Emirates, Manchester City with Etihad Airways and Juventus with Jeep. The list is long (and to be found here). They use our beloved sport to sportswash their reputation.

While society is getting to grips with the climate crisis, football is lagging behind. And that’s not what football should do. It should lead, it should win. The climate crisis is humanity’s most challenging match, one we can only win together. The world of football kicking out the climate pollutors will be an important goal in a match that promises to go into extra time.

We’re starting small and looking for players! If you want to help out, by spreading the message, joining the team, please get in touch (frank@fossilfreefuture.org). For now, follow us on Twitter.