The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has launched its “Bundesliga Common Ground” project in association with local partners and communities, renovating and revitalising football pitches around the world to offer more young people the opportunity to play and enjoy football.
The work has already begun, with pitches in Lagos (Nigeria), Mexico City (Mexico) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) having been unveiled in recent weeks. Bundesliga Legends, such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Pável Pardo, Paulo Sérgio and Zé Roberto were in attendance to help launch the initiative in their respective home countries. Throughout the 2022-23 season, further pitches will be revamped in Germany, Argentina, Poland, the USA, and South East Asia.
The purpose is to create a tangible contact point that is freely accessible for the Bundesliga’s fan base within the local communities, and for the pitches to serve as a local platform for community events and future Bundesliga and partner measures, such as football tournaments, coaching sessions and Bundesliga watch parties, all with the goal of inspiring young people to be active and enjoy sport.
Peer Naubert, Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer, said: “The Bundesliga is globally recognised for its unique football culture and youth development. Bundesliga Common Ground brings together both aspects in locations around the world, and with these pitches we aim to continue to attract new fans and spread the interest in the Bundesliga even further. This is where it began for so many of our stars past and present: as kids playing with their friends every day. This is why we want to support the global development of football at the grassroots level, building spaces where communities can come together, and where everybody is welcome to enjoy the game.”
Bundesliga Legend and former Eintracht Frankfurt star Okocha, who opened the first Common Ground pitch in Lagos, Nigeria, said: “Football is about friendship, about community. Every professional footballer that made it to the top has a story about how they first fell in love with the game as a child, emulating the skills of their heroes. These pitches create a safe space for the next generation to do just that, and will help to serve the local people for years to come.”
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