• This Sunday, the Tottenham Spurs are organizing “GameZero” during the derby against Chelsea, which is the first match in the world “with zero carbon footprint”.

  • French football players are also trying to reduce the ecological footprint of their sport.

  • The movements of supporters, reduced to nothing for long months due to Covid-19, represent the main source of CO2 emissions according to experts.

If you take the car to buy a baguette 200m from your house, or if you still throw your plastic bottles anywhere other than in the yellow bin, you are not welcome this Sunday at White Hart Lane.

For Chelsea's reception in the Premier League, Tottenham has teamed up with the British government and broadcaster Sky to deliver "the world's first zero carbon football match".

Or “GameZero”, in original version and with ease.

We are proud to have partnered with Sky to make our September 19th fixture against Chelsea the world's first net zero carbon football game at an elite level.


Find out more 👇 # GameZero

- Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 6, 2021

Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane on one side, Thiago Silva and Romelu Lukaku on the other, will arrive at the stadium in biofuel buses, and drink from cardboard containers.

Fans of these two London clubs are invited to come by bike or by public transport and recycle their waste.

Real awareness or communication operation against a background of



Certainly a bit of both.

But this event dubbed by the authorities confirms that environmental concerns are seeping everywhere, even in the locker rooms of professional teams.

By bike to Parc OL

“There is a real desire from Ligue 1 clubs to reduce their carbon footprint, everyone understood that it was necessary to change the model,” says Julien Pierre. The former rugby international launched last November "Fair Play for Planet", "the first green label for sporting events and clubs", and is working in particular with Lyon in Ligue 1 and Le Havre in Ligue 2. Among the measures engaged on the Décines side, the former second line cites the cycle path which leads “to a closed bicycle parking area with more than 500 places” at the Parc OL, which still only “very few stadiums” have in France.

Such a structure could look like a gadget in the face of the gravity of the climate issue.

Not that much, according to Pierre, given that "the movements of supporters represent between 60 and 80% of the total carbon footprint of a match".

In this case, inevitably, England and its 188 London shocks per season is favored over France, a country where a match between Toulouse and Bordeaux is considered a derby despite the 240 km that separate the city from the Chevaliers du Fiel. from that of Pierre Palmade.

The Sang et Or go green

Between Lens and Lille, on the other hand, there are "only" about forty terminals, and the two rivals from the North face each other this Saturday at Bollaert.

So yes, there is no metro in the Pas-de-Calais sub-prefecture, but that does not prevent the Sang et Or club from thinking about the future in green. years to come, in particular with our own endowment fund and the support of certain partners ”, notes Fabien Simon, director of the Racing loyalty and engagement division, in charge of the file.

Concretely, the club is already moving towards “zero phyto” for the maintenance of its lawn and will “within two years” replace its lighting with less energy-consuming LEDs.

It has set up sorting bins for its employees and water collectors in Bollaert.

But the best is yet to come, according to Simon, for fans: “We are thinking of integrating, within one or two years, a carpooling function in our app.

For people who come from far enough away, we want to rely on the Tadao network with free electric shuttles, and a stop 100 m from the stadium.

We are already encouraging supporters to come as a group.

We prefer to have a bus with 60 people than 60 people in 60 cars.

"There are a lot of consultations with the League", adds the Lensois manager.

Food in stadiums also targeted

"The LFP relies on the network of CSR [corporate social responsibility] referents, with one referent identified by club, who is met and called upon very regularly throughout the year", confirms the body, which works in particular with WWF France.

"Practical sheets" in 2019, "charter for catering in stadiums" in July 2021 ... Documents and videoconferences have flourished in recent years to encourage the 40 clubs of L1 and L2 to go towards "zero plastic", "zero waste "And" responsible food ", based on regional products.

There is no point in encouraging fans to come to the stadium by bike if it is to offer them New Zealand lamb ...

Less money for the less green

And if there are any recalcitrant, there remains the good old method of typing in the wallet, through the granting of the club license.

"It conditions part of the TV rights redistributed to the clubs," explains the LFP.

Among the criteria is already an "eco-responsible stadium" component which includes, among other things, the sorting of waste, the installation of reusable cups or the collection of rainwater.


Everyone is free to take local initiatives.

“These are just ideas, but we can imagine that for each goal that our team scores, we will plant 10 trees,” continues the Lensois Fabien Simon.

Or, to encourage supporters to take back their waste at the end of the match, a dumpster is installed behind the stands, and each time a kilo is collected, a sponsor or the club pays 100 euros to an association.


Global warming: The number of days when the temperature is over 50 ° C each year has doubled https://t.co/2DUdarA0M0 via @ 20minutesplanet pic.twitter.com/k8EOkpo2fk

- 20 Minutes Planet (@ 20minutesplanet) September 16, 2021

If a company cannot achieve carbon neutrality by avoiding or reducing emissions, it still has compensation, to “improve” an ecosystem and capture more CO2.

Because certain polluting practices, such as air transport, remain essential, unless you are a pro footballer in Andorra.

"As a former high level athlete, I do not see myself telling a team to systematically take the bus, because an athlete needs to recover, slips Julien Pierre, finalist of the 2011 World Cup with the XV of France .

On the other hand, a plane trip to stay 20 minutes in the air is stupid.

Just like running the bus empty, to pick up the team at the airport and bring them to the stadium or to the hotel.


The plane yes, but only to go very far

The former rugby player released this remark before the mini-scandal of PSG's trip to Bruges raised by

Le Soir

(which quite impartially recalls that the Belgian club had done the same two years ago to go to the Parc des Princes). “We will never go by plane to Paris, promises Fabien Simon. When the distance from Lens is less than 400 km, we travel by bus. This is also the case for the matches in Lille, Reims or Metz. And when the team has to take the plane, we rent buses on site for the trips between the airport and the stadium. "

The LFP has made its accounts, at least for the 2019-2020 season of L1 and L2: "65% of journeys were made by plane, 31% by bus and 4% by train".

But "66% of clubs" said they were ready in this study conducted in April 2020 to take their bus "for journeys of less than 4 hours", when they are not already doing so.

Very expensive train

At first glance, rail looks like a dream solution for reducing a team's carbon footprint.

But there is a big problem, still according to the LFP: “this solution would entail an extremely important additional cost for the clubs in terms of transport.

"Because it would be downright privatizing the train ... It is therefore not tomorrow the day before that PSG supporters will wait for Kylian Mbappé at the Gare de l'Est when he returns from Strasbourg.


Climate: The French ready to make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint


Pollution: Do we need the equivalent of the Paris Climate Agreement, but for plastic?

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