In Summer 2018 Germany is host to the inaugural Social World Cup, a charitable international tournament comprised of amateur national sides competing for the honour of being crowned world champions. ‘Social’ in every sense of the word, the tournament promises to deliver the beautiful side of the beautiful game – the collective spirit, the heartache, the ecstatic victories – without any of the exclusivity, opacity and greed of modern, elite level football. Just picture it: the sun is shining, you are with your friends in Hamburg or Munich. You have a bratwurst in one hand and a cold stein of beer in the other. The whistle blows. The best amateur footballers your country has to offer go at it hammer and tongs against the hated foe, [insert rival nation of choice]. A late equaliser is followed by a dramatic flurry of attacking momentum, AND THERE’S THE WINNER! You’re through to the quarter-finals in Berlin… and it’s probably time for another celebratory beer.
As a football fan it is probably safe to say that we would all love to go to the FIFA World Cup in Russia. But even if you could afford the flights, accommodation and match day tickets, would you feel entirely comfortable supporting an event which is riddled with corruption and built upon a foundation of human rights abuses and exacerbated social inequality? Recent revelations stemming from the Panama Papers leak prove that there is still a very long way to go before FIFA is clean. Founded by the newly formed charity and NGO Sports Watch, the Social World Cup is a constructive stand against misdemeanors at the highest level of sports and will instead champion the principles of transparency, fairness and collectivity. Football, plus a supporting programme of street food, live music and parties. What better way to tell the powers that be, that enough is enough?
The group stages will be played across four major German cities, climaxing with the knock out rounds in Berlin, one of Europe’s top destinations for good times and getting down. It is shaping up to be a raucous celebration of everything which true fans love about football, bringing together people from all over the world in an orgiastic feast of the senses. And the event is still developing so stand by for exciting new developments, including possible international expansion.
The Social World Cup intends to reconnect supporters of all stripes and from all nations with the players on the pitch, and with one another. This will in part be achieved through fan ownership, as the tournament will largely be crowdfunded, so you don’t have to wait two years to get involved. Crowdfunding went live on May 21st. Fan owners will also have opportunities to actively shape the direction which this alternative world cup takes. It’s our chance to take back control, spread the word!
Maybe you even fancy your chances of representing your country on the pitch. The standard will be high but if you think you’re good enough why not apply for a place in your national side? Applications will be processed on an individual, player by player basis and if you are up to scratch you could be scrapping in your national colours against the best amateur footballers in the world.
Either way, as a fan or a player, the tournament will provide an opportunity to come together with like minded people from all over the world, connecting cultures around a common love of football in its purest form.
Check out the Crowdfunding page here: