- 18th January also marks the launch of the Green Football Weekend Veggie Cookbook, with recipes from Raheem Sterling, James Prowse-Ward, Jen Beattie, Troy Deeney, Amy Turner, Tom Kerridge, Ainsley Harriot, Levi Roots, Raymond Blanc and others
- By trying a veggie option, fans can score goals for their club in the Green Football Cup fan tournament, where more than 80 of the UK’s top clubs will vie for the trophy.
LONDON, January 18th, 2024. Former England international Joe Cole and Forest Green Rovers chair Dale Vince will today take on former Wales international Robbie Savage and chef Levi Roots in a ‘Ready Veggie Cook-off’ challenge on the steps of Wembley Stadium, to mark the start of the Green Football Weekend campaign. The teams, compered by presenter Lynsey Hipgrave, will whip up recipes from the new Green Football Weekend Veggie Cookbook, which will then be tested by local school children.
More than 70 football players, pundits, celebrity chefs, club nutritionists and football-loving personalities have shared their favourite veggie recipes for the free online cookbook. Today’s launch also marks the start of the Green Football Cup, where fans can score goals to help their club triumph by taking green action.
With tons of recipes inspiring fans to try a tasty veggie option, highlights of the cookbook include Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling’s cauliflower, potato and spinach curry; Tottenham Hotspur Amy Turner’s roasted red pepper soup, and Arsenal Women’s Jen Beattie’s Thai Green Tofu Curry. Famous football-loving chefs like Manchester United fan Michel Roux Jr and Arsenal supporter Ainsley Harriot will also be sharing their go-to recipes.
The world’s largest climate-football campaign, which culminates on 2-5th February with Green Football Weekend itself, mobilises fans, clubs, leagues and partners to take action on climate. The campaign will focus on the power of veg to help protect our world; encouraging fans to try cooking a veggie meal and working with clubs and caterers to put on delicious veggie and plant-based food for matchday fans.
Gary Lineker, Green Football Weekend Ambassador, said: “I am proud to kickstart the second year of Green Football Weekend to mobilise millions of fans and over 80 clubs to protect what we love. Football has the unbelievable power to unite everyone – clubs, players and fans from across the community with a common goal to take action. Trying a healthy veggie option over Green Football Weekend is a simple step towards a healthier lifestyle and a healthier planet. “
Mathieu Flamini, football legend, environmental entrepreneur and Green Football Weekend Ambassador, said: “Performance needs a lot of discipline and hard work. In order to perform at my best, and have the most efficient recovery, I decided to become a vegetarian a long time ago. Your health is the most important thing you have. By giving a veggie option a go, you’re helping to take care of it, and by helping yourself, you are helping to protect the planet. If the UK’s football fans had one veggie meal a day, we could save the equivalent to removing 5.5M cars from the road each year”.
Jen Beattie MBE, player for Arsenal WFC and contributor to the Cookbook said: “One of my favourites in the Veggie Cookbook is the Thai Green Curry. You can pack it with whatever veg you fancy and the spices give it that extra kick. After a tough training session in winter, I always crave something warm and filling and this hits the spot every time. I hope the fans give it a go and download the Green Football Weekend cookbook to help Arsenal win green goals towards the Green Football Cup.”
By trying a recipe from the Cookbook, fans can register a goal for their club in the Green Football Cup at www.greenfootballweekend.com, where more than 80 of the top professional clubs are vying for the title. Other goal-scoring activities will include saving cash by choosing discounted ‘yellow-sticker’ food at the supermarket, having fun with the Green Football Weekend AI-recipe generator to decide your next veggie meal, switching to a green energy provider; walking, biking or taking public transport rather than driving; and recruiting friends and family to get involved.
The future of football is at risk due to the effects of climate change, with 150,000 games already cancelled per year due to pitch flooding. By 2050, a quarter of UK football grounds will be flooded, with one in four teams expecting partial or total stadium flooding each year.
Dale Vince OBE, Ecotricity founder, said: “It’s simple – football is a big cultural force. It’s the biggest sport in the world reaching billions of passionate fans. If we can harness some of that passion and point it towards the environment, we can create change on an incredible scale. I’ve seen it work at FGR where our fans have embraced the green agenda of the club. ”
Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, BOSH!, said: “Football holds a profound place in modern culture – it’s the ideal stage to talk about climate change and the vital role we can all play. As passionate football fans ourselves, our business revolves around guiding individuals towards eco-conscious food choices. We’re immensely proud to be ambassadors of Green Football Weekend.”
On 2-5th February itself, clubs will take centre stage as part of Green Football Weekend, taking part in greener games to showcase their sustainability work, engaging fans in the issue and announcing new, more ambitious commitments. Broadcast giants Sky Sports and TNT Sports will also deliver a Green Football Weekend extravaganza, packed with original content.
Sarah Jacobs, Green Football Weekend Director, said: “Green Football Weekend is fan action at its most powerful, and brings clubs together to take increasingly ambitious action on climate. Football has incredible power to inspire change and improve lives, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
Gary Hughes, Director of Football at Sky Sports, said: “It’s a privilege to once again be involved in Green Football Weekend and use the game we all love to help protect our planet. At Sky Sports, we’re committed to helping fans look after the sports they love and make sure there is always a place to play. Throughout the weekend, there will be a host of content geared towards inspiring change and showcasing the ways fans can make small changes to their lifestyle in order to tackle climate change.”
Scott Young, Group SVP, Content, Production and Business Operations, WBD Sports Europe, said: “TNT Sports is proud to join the football community in working together to support Green Football Weekend. We can all help tackle climate change, football is a powerful platform to highlight how we can all make a big difference.”
Green Football Weekend is powered by Ecotricity, in partnership with Devils Kitchen, Ministry of Eco-Education, Little Green Devils, Forest Green Rovers, and FGR Community, BOSH!, exceptional and the Gusto Group, and is supported by the EFL, WSL, the PFA and the FA.
It is driven by Sky Sports, TNT Sports, The Football Supporters Association, Count Us In, Pledgeball and Planet League, and supported by partners including Compass Levy, Sodexo, Delaware North, The Vegetarian Society, Football For Future, Humane Society International, Veganuary, Veg Power, Sokito, Football Manager, Opta, Keele University and First News.