UEFA works with its partner Fare to promote equality and combat discrimination in football.
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UEFA partner Fare (Football Against Racism in Europe) has launched its annual #FootballPeople weeks – a campaign that calls on supporters, clubs, players, minority groups and communities to raise awareness of social inequalities in sport, including racism, gender discrimination and homophobia.
The initiative, which runs from 8-22 October, is considered the biggest campaign for social change in the football community and brings together more than 1000 groups in 65 countries.
Getting involved is simple and fun, and there is no limit as to what you can do, as long as your activity relates to football and aims to bring about a positive change. In recent years activities have taken place across the globe, supported by some of football’s stars, such as Yaya Touré, Iker Casillas, Didier Drogba, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Marco Verratti, Claudio Marchisio and Edinson Cavani.
“The fight to eliminate racism, discrimination and intolerance from football is a major priority for UEFA,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
“These weeks provide an important opportunity, not only to deliver this important message, but to listen to the voices of those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from discrimination.”
UEFA has supported Fare since 2001, helping the organisation become a pioneer at the forefront of the fight for equality and inclusion in sport. Fare’s philosophy is that, as the most popular sport in the world, football belongs to us all and can help propel social cohesion
We must stand and act together
As the two-week campaign kicked off, Čeferin reaffirmed UEFA’s strong commitment to leverage the influence and reach of football to fight all forms of discrimination.
“We strongly believe the power of sport can be used to tackle these issues, but to slay this beast, we all must stand and act together - governments, confederations, national associations, partner organisations, clubs, fans, players and media.
“UEFA has some of the toughest sanctions in sport in order to combat racism and discrimination, but we acknowledge more must be done. That is why we work with a range of partners to help identify, understand and eradicate discrimination from the game, whether on the pitch, on the touchline or in the stands.
“Only when we listen can we learn what must be done to ensure football provides a safe and welcome environment to everybody, everywhere.”
The Fare network and UEFA match monitoring
Fare works alongside NGOs, minority groups, grassroots organisations and the professional football industry in a joint effort to celebrate diversity and combat racism, homophobia, sexism and other forms of discrimination at all levels of the game.
As part of UEFA’s zero-tolerance policy against any form of racism and discrimination, the organisation has a match monitoring system in place whereby observers from the Fare network attend matches and report any type of discriminatory behaviour they witness.
This helps the independent UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Board to open investigations and to impose sanctions against offenders.