German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and Burnley FC fan Scott Cunliffe have been honoured by UEFA for their work as role models highlighting diversity, inclusion and accessibility in football.
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This year, UEFA has decided to choose two winners of its prestigious UEFA #EqualGame Award, which recognises a person or entity that has acted as a role model in promoting diversity, inclusion and accessibility in European football.
Borussia Dortmund will receive their #EqualGame Award for their tireless long-term work in, among others, tackling far-right infiltration of their fan base, challenging everyday racism, and adopting a clear policy on the humanitarian rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.
Meanwhile, devoted Burnley FC supporter Scott Cunliffe will receive his EqualGame Award for his successful RunAway Challenge, in which he ran to every single Burnley FC away match during the 2018/19 season, raising more than EUR 60,000 for English Premier League clubs' charities.
UEFA’s annual award reflects the values promoted by UEFA’s #EqualGame Respect campaign.
Borussia Dortmund have played a leading role in German football’s campaign against far-right groups, running a series of activities and initiatives.
For a considerable number of years, Borussia Dortmund have sought to change attitudes by educating, communicating with and confronting some of the club's fans with far-right links.
Hans-Joachim Watzke, CEO of Borussia Dortmund, will receive the award on behalf of the club at the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on 29 August.
“Borussia Dortmund feel that social engagement is extremely important,” he said. “We are delighted that this engagement has been recognised with this prestigious UEFA award.”
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin paid tribute to Borussia Dortmund for the club’s pioneering campaign.
“Borussia Dortmund can be justifiably proud of their outstanding work to challenge far-right attitudes and actions, conveying the clear message that racism, intolerance and discrimination have no place in football,” he said.
“The club has set an important example for other clubs throughout Europe to follow.”
Burnley FC fan Scott Cunliffe will receive the 2019 #UEFA EqualGame Award for his RunAway Challenge. Scott ran to every single Burnley away match over the 2018/19 campaign to raise money for charity.
Scott’s initiative was a resounding success. He covered nearly 5,000 kilometres and almost six million steps, raising more than EUR 60,000 for English Premier League clubs' charities, capturing the hearts of thousands of people across the country.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin applauded Scott’s initiative. “Scott’s story is an inspiration to many. Through his commitment and hard work, he has raised money to help communities right across his country,” he said.
“The example Scott has set also provides a clear demonstration of just how physical activity like running or playing football can significantly benefit a person’s health.”
Scott will also receive his UEFA award at the draw ceremony in Monaco on 29 August.
“I am honoured that UEFA has chosen me as a recipient of the #EqualGame Award,” Scott said. “I believe that sport is a great leveller. Everyone should be able to enjoy the sport they love, either as a fan or as a player. I hope my running inspires others to move their legs, hearts and minds, no matter who they are.”