In 2020, football fans all over the world got a taste of what things would be like if their favourite sport was put on hold. Thankfully, live competition returned behind closed doors to entertain supporters watching on televisions all over the globe.
But what if a world without football became a permanent reality?
That is exactly what faces us as we look to a future where drought problems impact our daily lives so much that even something like football could be at risk.
To highlight the harsh truths of the global water crisis, Manchester City have teamed up with water technology provider Xylem to create a short film which aims to educate one billion fans about urgent water challenges.
The latest UN data estimates that almost five billion people globally could be living in areas of water scarcity by 2050, with the UK Environmental Protection Agency projecting that parts of England could run out of water by 2045 due to increased demand, ageing infrastructure and climate change.
The 'End of Football' video by Xylem and Manchester City brings this message home by showing just how something as simple as being complacent about water consumption can lead to huge waste, as three billion litres of water is lost to leakages every day in the UK.
This future is just one generation away and today's supporters, such as the young girl whose journey is captured in the film, will feel the effects of water shortages in their lifetimes.
As well as producing the film, Xylem has partnered with Manchester City to deliver clean water towers, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) education, and sports and leadership training to communities around the world.
In less than two years, the innovative partnership has already directly provided access to clean water and WASH education to more than 10,000 children across India, Thailand, China, Australia and the United States.
Patrick Decker, Xylem President and Chief Executive Officer, said: "Water sits at the heart of human health and the sustainability of our planet.
"Through our partnership with City Football Group, we’re focused on mobilizing the global community to actively join us in safeguarding this precious resource. Together, we have a powerful opportunity to turn the tide on challenges like water scarcity and flooding and build a water-secure future."
Pete Bradshaw, Head of Sustainability at Manchester City, said: "Xylem is doing incredible work to address water sustainability issues and Manchester City is proud to support them in this new campaign."
Supporters of Manchester City and other clubs who wish to support the project or learn more about water conservation, can find out more information at www.mancity.com/end-of-football and download their Water Hero Playbook which provides simple tips that can be used around the home to help you play your part in protecting your future and the future of football.