Football: AS Monaco joins the fight to protect the oceans

as monaco ocean

AS Monaco joined the fight to protect the world’s oceans on Monday, signing a convention with the Oceanographic Institute to help amplify a collective environmentalist message. 

Just beyond Monaco’s stadium of the Louis II lies the Mediterranean Sea, but it was within the Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum that the club took sure steps to ensure its preservation.

Youth as a vehicle for awareness

“The essential objective [of this convention] is to raise awareness. It’s to make our youth aware of our oceans’ fragility, to ensure that they understand, learn and act,” said AS Monaco Director General Ben Lambrecht.

Prior to the signing of the convention, members of the club’s prestigious La Diagonale Academy took a tour of the historic museum to learn more about the threats faced by the world’s waters. Amongst them was Malick Sylla, who described the tour as “a beautiful exploration outside the world of football”.

Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

However, the idea isn’t just that Monaco’s youngsters learn about the threats, but that they also become vehicles of a message to help protect the oceans from over-exploitation and pollution, a fact maturely evoked by Sylla.

“It is important, as our idols do, to transmit these values around the protection of the oceans to those that don’t have the chance to come,” he said.

Robert Calcagno, Director General of the Oceanographic Institute, added, “When I say ‘protect the ocean’ it’s my job, but when it’s one of these young players, there will be thousands, tomorrow perhaps millions, of people that will hear them.”

Calcagno acknowledged the work done by governments and scientists in recent years, which have manifested in a series of multilateral international agreements, but said that the partnership signed between Monaco and the Institute, described by Lambrecht as a “logical” one in view of the geographical location of the Principality, is a step towards amplifying the message to a different audience.

Photo of Ben Lambrecht and Robert Calcagno by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

“Through this partnership, we wish to integrate into our approach all the elements of the club, and act as a sounding board in order to make our supporters, and the largest possible number of people, aware of the importance of protecting the oceans and their biodiversity,” Lambrecht told Monaco Life. “It’s something for which we must all take responsibility. As an emblematic football club, we have a responsibility.”

Kylian Mbappé, a special visitor at the Monaco Oceanographic Museum

A famed graduate of Monaco’s Academy paid a visit to Oceanographic Museum just days earlier. France captain Kylian Mbappé, who now plays for Ligue 1 rivals Paris Saint-Germain, has used his reach to address socio-cultural issues, and whilst outspoken on numerous topics, he also donates all of his bonuses from the national team to charity.

Calcagno recounted his interaction with Mbappé, whom he described as “a good, calm, open and curious person, who already had an awareness of the oceans, and its key principles”.

The director added, “I told myself that his passage at Monaco has certainly played a role.”

Education is at the heart of Monaco’s academy, with the focus at La Diagonale being on creating rounded individuals as well as great footballers. Through the signing of Monday’s convention, it is hoped that these “future leaders” will mobilise the wider public in protecting the oceans.


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Photo by AS Monaco