Football For Peace calls for an “Equal Playing Field” by backing 30 Women Breaking a World Record For the Highest Altitude Match on Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,429 Metres.
More than 30 women from 6 continents met in Tanzania to raise awareness of equality in sport by climbing Kilimanjaro, the women played the highest altitude FIFA approved football match ever and are submitting evidence to have it approved as a Guinness World Record.
The World Record match was part of Equal Playing Field“ Altitude Football Project”, in partnership with Football for Peace (FFP), an organisation that uses sports diplomacy to challenge hearts and minds. Together the organisations seek to challenge the inequalities women face internationally.
The two 11-a-side teams – Volcano FC and Glacier FC – played the record-breaking match in custom-designed football kits from Hummel.
The players included Equal Playing Fields co-founder Laura Youngson, England International Rachel Unitt, two-time Olympic Gold medallist, World Cup winner Lori Lindsey from the US, and the retired France international Sandrine Dusang. The match was played in a crater just below the summit on a FIFA approved pitch with full size goals and lines marked with flour. The two 11-player teams played a full 90-minute game at an altitude almost 2km higher than the highest stadium in the world. The game ended 0-0.
Erin Blankenship pictured above at the Altitude Match.
Playing for gender equality in sport
Funds raised will go towards a number of football initiatives being run by Equal Playing Field and Football for Peace partners in around fifteen countries over the next two years in the run up to the 2018 Women’s World Cup. They aim to promote gender equality in sport.
“Sport can play a great role to challenge current mind-sets, create a positive impact and better opportunities of the next generation of women. It is both the greatest leveller of difference, but it is also the greatest elevator in terms of personal achievement”. says Kashif Siddiqi, International Footballer and co-Founder of Football For Peace.
“Women the world over are breaking through prejudice and inequality on the playing field and the Altitude Football project is a great example of it” he says.
Kashif Siddiqi, co-founder of Football for Peace with Equal Playing Fields Co-Founders Laura Youngson and Maggie Murphy
Siddiqi, was inspired to form Football for Peace by his inspirational female role model, his Mother. She was born in Uganda but came to Britain around the time of Idi Amin coming into power. Her family refused to allow her to adapt to Western culture and she was forced to abandon some of her children. Shamim is now working on a campaign through Football For Peace to educate both girls and mothers in UK, Africa and Asia on how and what they can do in similar situations to find inner strength and find their way to freedom.
“My Mother had the courage to stand her ground and find her freedom,” says Siddiqi. “We want to ensure that is a right rather than a privilege for all women the world over”, he says.
Kashif Siddiqi and his mother Shamim Akhter, Ambassador for Female Empowerment.
Erin Blankenship, co-founder of Equal Playing Field and player from team Glacier FC commented: “The world record was the original idea. Because it was the one thing you can’t challenge. You can’t challenge the fact that you’ve got a group of athletes playing at almost 19,000 ft, it doesn’t matter what gender they are. Building on that, what else do we want to do? What is the story we want to tell? Who and what are the players, organisations and challenges that surround equality in sport and women’s football in particular. This now gives us a platform to work from.”