Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau blows whistle on poverty at women’s soccer World Cup tournament in NYC

Sep 19, 2017

Photo: © UNDP / Freya Morales

New York City – Globally acclaimed Danish actor, star of HBO’s Game of Thrones and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Goodwill Ambassador Nikolaj Coster-Waldau today kicked off the second annual women’s amateur World Cup soccer tournament in New York City.

Coster-Waldau, who plays dashing anti-hero Jamie Lannister in the worldwide smash series, helped blow the whistle on poverty at the Global Goals World Cup at WNYC Transmitter Park on the shores of the East River in the New York borough of Brooklyn.

His stint as a referee was to support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also called the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The Global Goals World Cup took place during the United Nations General Assembly, as world leaders come together in New York, and featured 24 teams of women from five continents playing for the better world they want. Sport met advocacy in this highly entertaining Street Soccer event where teams competed to win the five-a-side tournament trophy.

“There are 17 Global Goals responding to every important challenge, from poverty to climate change to gender inequality. No matter which challenge you believe to be the greatest facing our world, one of the goals is designed to overcome it,” Coster-Waldau said.

“I hope everyone will be inspired to back the Global Goals and join me in changing the planet,” he added. 

“I love meeting the inspiring women who were taking part in the Global Goals World Cup today. They have come from far and wide to show the world just how important real and positive change is to them.” 

Each team decided how they want to set their development agenda, by choosing which Global Goal to play for. Teams were awarded special points for creativity in advocating for their chosen goal. Teams participating included under-18s from East Harlem advocating an end to inequality, a team from Liberia championing universal access to clean water and a team from Ecuador fighting for a quality education for all.

In 2016, Coster-Waldau was appointed a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, championing the Global Goals.

Contact Information: Adam Cathro, Communications Specialist, UNDP, +1 917 915 9725 (cell),


UNDP Around the world