What is Green Football Weekend? English clubs to mobilise millions of fans in world's largest football climate campaign

Green Football Weekend with Joe Cole, Robbie Savage, Linsey Hipgrave and Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince
(Image credit: Green Football Weekend)

Green Football Weekend returns for a second year, and will see millions of football fans across the UK involved in greener games as part of commitments to sustainability. 

Running over the weekend of February 2-5, Green Football Weekend will see clubs across the Premier League, EFL and WSL encouraging fans to opt for greener choices - whether it be through transport, energy or, the focus of this year, eating more vegetables. 

The world's largest football climate campaign, Green Football Weekend intends to mobilise football supporters across the UK, with Sky Sports and TNT Sports both championing the initiative. Fans will be urged to at least consider eating one veggie meal while at a stadium or at home on Green Football Weekend, while clubs will provide a greater array of meat-free options, too.

GrePlayers of Wolves are seen wearing a sustainable green arm band in support of green football weekend during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on February 04, 2023 in Wolverhampton, England. In a Premier League first, both sets of players, and match officials, will wear Green Football Weekend sustainable green armbands to highlight the initiative and put the conversation about climate change and sustainability on the world stage. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Players wore green armbands as part of Green Football Weekend last year (Image credit: Getty Images)

As part of the launch of this year's event, FourFourTwo were invited along to the Olympic Steps at Wembley Stadium on a bitter cold January day - poignant, considering a project focussing on climate change would be taking place in near-freezing temperatures. 

With Robbie Savage and Joe Cole joined by Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince, presenter Lynsey Hipgrave and famous chef Levi Roots, two teams attempted making some vegetarian dishes to highlight the impact going green more often can have on the planet. 

"I need educated in this field," Savage tells FFT. "My son went to Forest Green Rovers last year so I learned a little bit more, and cooking today with Levi Roots was fantastic. I learned today that if every football fan in the UK ate one veggie meal a day, it'd be the equivalent of taking 5.5m cars off the road. It's unbelievable. 

"The biggest thing for me, obviously being involved with Macclesfield and grassroots football, is the amount of games that are called off due to the weather. This week, for example, we're lucky we've got a 3G pitch so our games will be on - but there will be lots of games up and down the country called off. 

A Green Football Weekend microphone before the Premier League match between Everton FC and Arsenal FC at Goodison Park on February 4, 2023 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images)

TNT Sports and Sky Sports will both support Green Football Weekend (Image credit: Getty Images)

"150,000 pitches a year get flooded. So it's important that everybody in football, and for this campaign, just tries to make a little bit of difference."

Now the director of football at Macclesfield, Savage highlights how The Silkmen will buy into Green Football Weekend this year. 

"At Macclesfield we're trying to be better, but we're still not as proactive as we should be," he says. "I certainly will be, especially on Green Football Weekend, encouraging people to walk to the game, and we'll be putting more veggie meals on the menu at the ground."

Joe Cole is also an advocate, suggesting that education is vital for progress to be made. While football is the focus, the former England international agrees that the sport can help mobilise society in a positive way.

Robbie Savage

Savage thinks Green Football Weekend will be great to educate people (Image credit: Getty Images)

"I think any message which is intended to help the planet is good," Cole tells FFT. "Educating people that you don't have to become a vegan and live in the forest just to make a difference. 

"Everyone doing a little bit more will help and educating the young kids with cooking today - it's just trying to highlight how important all of this stuff is."

With over 30 million people reached through Green Football Weekend in 2023, organisers are hoping that an even greater impact can be made this year. 

Since January 18, clubs have been competing to try and win the Green Football Cup - won by the side whose fans have scored the most green goals by pledging to make a green switch or take a green action. 

Go to greenfootballweekend.com  to help your club win the Green Football Weekend Cup by taking climate-friendly actions, whether that's downloading the FREE Green Football Weekend free veggie cookbook, trying a veggie meal, hopping on your bike or switching to green energy. 

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