Be true to the spirit of Fuleco, the World Cup mascot. Help protect the Brazilian three-banded armadillo
  • Petitioning Federico Addiechi

This petition will be delivered to:

Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, FIFA
Federico Addiechi

Be true to the spirit of Fuleco, the World Cup mascot. Help protect the Brazilian three-banded armadillo

    1. Henry Nicholls
    2. Petition by

      Henry Nicholls

      London, United Kingdom

In 2012, FIFA introduced the world to the mascot for the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Fuleco is an energetic, animated character inspired by the Brazilian three-banded armadillo. But, as yet, FIFA has made no direct contribution to the conservation of this endemic and highly threatened species.

I am a zoologist, science journalist and author and I write a lot about the relationship between animals and humans. When I heard about Fuleco, I was saddened to learn that FIFA had made no direct commitment to the conservation of the armadillo or its unique, scrubby habitat known as the Caatinga. I feel very strongly that each of us has a responsibility to do all we can to reduce our individual footprints on the planet and big profit-making institutions like FIFA have a duty to take their social responsibility much more seriously. I knew I wanted to sign an online petition. But there wasn't one. So I chose to act. Will you join me?

FIFA's Secretary General Jérôme Valcke described the choice of the three-banded armadillo as a “very fitting” mascot for Brazil 2014. “One of the key to use the event as a platform to communicate the importance of the environment and ecology,” he said. But wouldn’t FIFA’s commitment to the environment and ecology be so much more credible if it channeled some of its World Cup profits into the conservation of the armadillo and the Caatinga?

This seems like a perfectly reasonable question. A clear financial commitment by FIFA towards the conservation of the Caatinga would not cost much and would bring long-term rewards to football’s governing body that would far outweigh the small dent to its profits.

It is a rare case of a win-win situation, one that is too good to miss. All that remains is for FIFA to seize the opportunity.

For more on the three-banded armadillo and the remarkable Caatinga, see this post on my Guardian blog Animal Magic and the website of the Caatinga Association.

Photograph courtesy of Liana Sena, Caatinga Association.

Recent signatures


    1. The armadillo has 25,000 supporters

      Henry Nicholls
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Friends

      We now have over 25,000 signatures in support of the Brazilian three-banded armadillo. Thank you for signing this petition.

      I am astounded by the pace at which this campaign has gathered support. To keep up the momentum, it would help enormously if you could share the following on all your social media (if possible during England’s last game tonight, Tuesday 24th June, 17.00 GMT):

      .@FIFAWorldCup has a duty to protect #WorldCup mascot. Pls sign and share #SaveTheAmadillo petition @UKChange

      Once we reach 30,000 signatures, I will be contacting FIFA again to give them the opportunity to respond.

      Thank you again.

      Henry Nicholls
      Science Journalist

      .@FIFAWorldCup Help protect the World Cup mascot #SaveTheArmadillo

      Before the final whistle blows on the Brazil 2014 World Cup, I would like FIFA to announce a serious commitment to the conservation of the Caatinga of northeast Brazil, home to the threatened three-banded armadillo or "tatu-bola" (the species that gave life to the Brazil 2014 mascot Fuleco).

    2. Reached 25,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 11 days ago

      We are guardians of planet earth and this should involve caring for all species inhabiting it.

    • Scott Thrustans LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 29 days ago

      Its foolish to allow idiots to destroy a species

    • Greg Rowland BATH, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 month ago

      Animals are great creatures☺

      • 2 months ago

      Sounds like a better use of their money than the world cup imho.

      • 2 months ago

      We see a lot of these lovely creatures in Florida when we are out there.


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