Minerals and Football: The Unsung Heroes of our Tournaments

Industry Insights June 13, 2024
Minerals and Football: The Unsung Heroes of our Tournaments
Credit: Oleksandr Prykhodko

Have you ever wondered which minerals or raw materials are essential for the beautiful game? With one of the largest football competitions in the world set to kick off this evening, we explore some of the minerals that make these events possible. You wouldn’t ordinarily associate sports with minerals but the reality is they are a vital component of every part of sport as we know it. Be it the stadium, the pitch, the football and kits, and the way the game is brought to you at home, minerals have a vital role to play.

Stadium Construction

The most obvious of these is the construction of the stadium. It won’t come as a surprise that the second most used substance on earth, concrete, is integral to the construction of every stadium across the globe. Concrete is made from cement, water, and different aggregates. Minerals such as limestone and GGBS are commonly found in concrete to reduce the environmental impact or change the performance. Further to this, the framework of stadiums is primarily made from steel, made from iron ore, of which LKAB is Europe’s largest producer. Even other aspects of the stadium such as glass require silica sand. All of these minerals are vital for ensuring the structure is safe, durable, and aesthetically pleasing.

The Pitch

It is all well and good having a stadium to watch from, but that isn’t much good without a pitch to watch footballers play on! Minerals are also vital for ensuring the pitch is of the correct quality and make the grass green. It is important for a football pitch to have proper drainage, soil structure, and strong grass – no one likes to see the ground giving way in a penalty shoot-out. Fertilisers and soil conditioners are an important part of ensuring the quality of the pitch, with our Calcifert Lime, a calcium based mineral fertiliser having previously been enlisted for football pitches in order to raise the soil pH.

The Essentials

There also wouldn’t be much of a game to watch if the players had no ball to kick, and nowhere to score. Minerals form a vital part of the ball itself, particularly with most modern balls made from synthetic leather such as PVC. The kits the players use also include several different minerals in order to achieve the look and performance they require. Metals and minerals  are also a vital component for goals, with UEFA stating that goals must be made out of aluminium or similar materials.

Bringing the game to you

The best part about sport is that it can be enjoyed by millions, maybe even billions of people around the world. We can’t all fit in the stadium, but modern technology and equipment gives people access to sports greatest moments all around the world. Technology forms such a huge part of modern sports. Features such as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and the technology required to broadcast to our screens include minerals such as quartz and copper.

We hope you enjoy this series exploring the raw materials and complexities of everyday items around us. Ever wondered which minerals help put food on the table? Continue our series below.