Pervis Estupinan has picked the biggest match of his life to draw attention to football’s potential to create positive social and environmental impact.
On the eve of Ecuador's opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup against hosts Qatar, the 24-year-old has announced that he has pledged 1% of his salary to Common Goal, the social and environmental impact collective in global football.
Playing in his first World Cup, Estupinan has chosen the build-up to the opening match to make an appeal for solidarity and teamwork from the global football community to enable the sport to fulfill its unique potential to create positive impact on people and planet.
Pervis will join forces with the Ecuadorian football-based community organisation Fundación de las Américas
para el Desarrollo (FUDELA). FUDELA, founded in 2008, uses football uses football as a tool to inspire and create opportunities in the lives of more than 30,000 young people through training and motivation, promoting the development of positive values such as teamwork, discipline and effective communication.
Throughout Ecuador, FUDELA offers comprehensive training and technical skills development that improves young people’s chances of finding work and earning a living, helping vulnerable young people with no access to higher education or employment and thus preventing situations such as unemployment, violence, drug use and teenage pregnancy, honouring its motto: ‘leave no one behind’.
He said: “I can hardly believe that a kid who grew up playing on the streets of Esmeraldas in Ecuador has achieved so many dreams. I would have never believed then that I’d get to play in La Liga, then the Premier League, and now in the World Cup.
"That’s why I want to use the biggest match of my life so far to draw attention to what football is capable of achieving in communities around the world when we all work together. I’m so proud to be the first Ecuadorian to join the Common Goal team and grateful to the platform that enables me to become part of a global movement tackling shared goals, while at the same time allowing me to empower disadvantaged communities in Esmeraldas where I grew up and to give something back to my country Ecuador.
"I hope that many others will join me on the best team in the world.”
The joint work between Estupiñán and FUDELA, will begin in his hometown of Esmeraldas to create and enhance safe spaces for crime prevention, social inclusion, and promote healthy lifestyles through training activities for young people. Together, Estupiñán and FUDELA will help provide them with the tools to strengthen their skills, values, and abilities to improve their educational and employment outputs in life based on their future aspirations and are calling upon more actors to join and promote the project.
Common Goal co-founder Juan Mata, World Cup winner with Spain in 2010, said: “It’s inspiring to see a young player like Pervis using his first World Cup match to shine a light on what football can and should be: a force for good. If we all work together, we can help children and young people from communities all over the world to reach their goals, using football as the tool.
"If you are a player, club, or any other football stakeholder who wants to take tangible action to help foster positive change in the big themes we all face as humanity, such as racial justice, gender equity, LGBTQ+ inclusion, or climate action, join us at Common Goal. Together we can allow football to achieve its maximum potential both within and through the game. Together we can change the world.”