This is also the first time I remember having seen the event used directly to address an issue related to global poverty.
I'm talking about the 1goal campaign, which is is bringing together soccer players, coaches and administrators, fans, charities, corporations and individuals to lobby and achieve our ambitious aim of education for everyone. Read More
Organizations as diverse as the World Food Program support 1goal.
At the beginning of the 2010 World Cup, I wrote about how this campaign is entirely compatible with the second of the Millennium Development Goals.
At some point today, the referee is going to blow his whistle marking the end of the Spain-Netherlands game. And one of the two teams can declare itself a winner. (It's not any secret that I'm pulling for La Furia Roja--which is the nickname for Spain).
But the whistle also marks the transition between the 2010 World Cup and the next international soccer event, which will take place in Brazil in 2014. I hope by the time 2014 rolls around that we would have made significant progress toward the targets of 1goal. After all, it will be just one year before 2015, the all-important year that the nations of the world set to complete the MDGs.
Even though it will be the "offseason" between World Cups, we have the chance to continue to participate in 1goal and the target of attaining universal primary education. Here's something by which to measure our level of success:
The target of the second goal of the MDGS is to ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling
2.1 Net enrolment ratio in primary education2.2 Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary2.3 Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men