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Mathieu Flamini urges Arsenal and Premier League stars to fight against common enemy

Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini is calling on Premier League players to leverage their platforms to fight against common enemy

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Mathieu Flamini
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Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini is calling on Premier League players to leverage their platforms in the battle against climate change. Flamini, known for his tenacity on the field, has shifted his focus to environmental advocacy, emphasising the significant role football can play in raising awareness.

The 39-year-old Frenchman played a key role in the Green Football Weekend initiative, encouraging fans to embrace vegetarian meals. Flamini founded a biochemicals company, GF Biochemicals, in 2008 while playing for AC Milan. The company produces sustainable alternatives to oil products, using levulinic acid in items like shampoo and fragrances.

Flamini is determined to merge his two passions and make a positive impact. Speaking to Mirror Football, he highlighted the power of football as a unifying force and stressed the need to tailor the climate change narrative to the football community. “We talk about the health of the planet, but it’s important to talk about the health of the people as well,” he emphasised.

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Addressing the impact of pollution on sports, Flamini shared concerns about countries like China and India where outdoor training is compromised due to pollution. While refraining from direct criticism of FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s sponsorship deal with oil company Aramco, Flamini highlighted the importance of practical steps, including offsetting carbon, plastic-free stadiums, green energy, and offering vegetarian meals in stadiums.

“The reality today is that we need huge investment,” he said. “We have a few options – offsetting carbon is one, plastic-free stadiums, green energy and giving vegetarian meals to people in the stadiums. Easy solutions can be implemented – it’s all about bringing a strategy.”

The Frenchman acknowledged the need for significant investment but highlighted practical solutions and easy tricks that could be implemented with the right strategy. He called on football governing bodies like FIFA, UEFA, and the Premier League to take leadership roles in effecting change.

“Nobody can be perfect and there is a time to adapt and a journey to take. But you have to start the journey. FIFA, UEFA and the Premier League have big roles to play – they have to be leaders in those changes. There are some solutions and some easy tricks to be applied. They need to implement a strategy. But most importantly, you need to want to start that journey. I’d be more than happy to participate and help contribute to that.”

Raised in Marseille with an awareness of environmental issues, Mathieu Flamini, a long-time vegan, believes players should use their influence to address important causes. He cited the positive shift in athletes speaking out on various issues, including Marcus Rashford and Mesut Ozil on social matters and Hector Bellerin on sustainability.

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