Welcome to the 219th issue of the sportanddev.org newsletter.
The FIFA World Cup reaches its climax on Saturday, as either England or Croatia will face France in Moscow to determine the winner of football’s biggest prize. But beyond the glitz and glamour of the tournament, the sport’s popularity makes it a valuable tool to challenge prejudices and promote social inclusion.
Two initiatives highlighted in this newsletter illustrate that. In Moscow, 200 girls and boys have been participating in the Street Child World Cup, which works to challenge perceptions towards street children. Meanwhile in Kenya, another event has been promoting the rehabilitation of inmates. The Inter-Prisons World Cup aims to build skills, provoke discussions about reintegration and encourage policymakers to review prison conditions.
The world’s most popular sport does not always make headlines for positive reasons, however. While female broadcasters have made history with live commentaries of matches in Russia, some reactions have revealed the persistence of outdated attitudes, as reported by Peace and Sport.
Elsewhere in this newsletter, we highlight the launch of the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, which brings together a range of actors to share knowledge, build capacity and strengthen accountability. We are also pleased to introduce our new ambassador Gaston Essengué, a Cameroonian national basketball player and social change advocate who you can read about in English or French.
Finally, thank you to those who have shared your views via our annual survey. If you haven’t then there is still time to participate. The survey helps shape and improve our work so we are looking to make it as widely representative as possible, and all responses are appreciated.