Video Tifo: Will your football club be underwater in 2050?
The UK is set to experience its hottest day on record this week as a heat wave sweeps across the country.
Temperatures could reach 41°C (106°F) – which would beat the previous record of 38.7°C, set in Cambridge in 2019 – leading the Met Office to issue a red extreme heat warning for much of the country. England Monday and Tuesday.
Some pre-season friendlies have been rearranged to avoid extreme heat, but football will be affected in more extreme ways by long-term climate change.
Rising temperatures, prolonged dry spells, destructive storms and rising sea levels mean that by 2050 up to a quarter of the 92 Premier League and EFL clubs are expected to can expect partial or total flooding of their stadiums every year. These include Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, Southampton’s St Mary’s, West Ham’s London Stadium and Norwich’s Carrow Road.
As David Goldblatt’s Tifo report below, first published in 2020, explains, climate change will not only affect clubs and stadiums through flooding, but rising temperatures will have huge implications for spectators and players, and water cuts may have to become the norm in certain circumstances.
However, football is not only a victim of these changes, it is also contributing to these problems. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa, for example, produced 2.75 million tonnes of carbon. Fans who have traveled to the last three World Cups (in South Africa, Brazil and Russia) have contributed, on average, three quarters of the carbon created by these tournaments. UEFA has tried to offset the creation of carbon at its tournaments, while down the food chain, Forest Green Rovers in the west of England are the first carbon neutral football club to be certified by the UN.
Climate change poses a question that humanity cannot escape. But how is football threatened by rising sea levels and carbon emission rates and, more importantly, what is it actually doing to alleviate these problems?
David Goldblatt explains…