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‘Football Ambassadors’ kicks off global diplomacy in Türkiye

Public diplomacy encompasses a country’s activities aimed at enhancing its influence and image internationally through direct people-to-people communication.

These activities are usually carried out in areas such as culture, education, science, art, and sports, among others.

Particularly, sports stand out as a powerful tool for public diplomacy due to their universal language and capacity to build bridges between societies.

In this context, sports diplomacy offers unique opportunities to strengthen friendships and collaborations on a global scale.

Türkiye is among the world’s most important global actors, seeking to increase both its soft power capacity and its effectiveness as a global actor using sports diplomacy in the international arena.

In this regard, both nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), state institutions, and universities in Türkiye are developing numerous projects.

The “Football Ambassadors” program, conducted in collaboration with the Diplomacy Foundation and Istanbul Gelişim University, is one such concrete example of this strategy.

The program aims to train qualified athletes and sports diplomats before the 2032 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2032), which Türkiye and Italy will jointly host.

The Football Ambassadors program is planned to contribute to Türkiye’s soft power by aligning with the goals of regional and multilateral sports organizations using sports diplomacy as outlined in the Republic of Türkiye’s Twelfth Development Plan.

Within the scope of the Football Ambassadors program, 11 female and 11 male participants selected from among the applicants will attend the EURO 2024 championship in Germany in 2024, receive Football Ambassador training in Berlin, and be trained as qualified sports individuals and sports diplomats for EURO 2032, where Türkiye will be one of the hosts.

This training will provide participants with valuable insights and experiences in the organization and management of international sports events, as well as prepare them for intercultural dialogue and international collaborations.

The main organizers of the project, the Diplomacy Foundation, reflect the strengthening influence of civil society and the changing understanding of diplomacy with “new generation diplomacy” strategies.

They aim to raise awareness internationally through various cultural and academic activities and to increase Türkiye’s power in the international arena with these activities. Istanbul Gelişim University, as the other main organizer, operates on the principle of continuous education and development, offering students and academics opportunities for education at international standards and participation in international projects.

In this regard, it is noteworthy that the Diplomacy Foundation and Istanbul Gelişim University have come together in the Football Ambassadors program to increase Türkiye’s public diplomacy power.

Supported by “For The Team” magazine, the Football Ambassadors project offers participants opportunities to collaborate and network internationally through events, conferences, panels, and various sports activities organized at local and international levels.

The aim of the Football Ambassadors program, which aims to train qualified sports personnel and sports diplomats until EURO 2032 hosted by Türkiye and Italy, is to enable Türkiye to take the stage not only in football but also as an important player in the cultural and diplomatic arena.

Initiatives like those undertaken by Türkiye help solidify its position as an effective soft power on the international diplomatic scene.

Such events conducted through sports diplomacy not only promote understanding and collaboration on a global level but also showcase Türkiye’s cultural richness and hosting capacity to the world.

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