UEFA's Football and Social Responsibility unit addresses key social responsibility issues through football in close partnership with expert organisations.
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Diversity & Inclusion
Fare's commitment to tackle discrimination through football's inclusive power is based on the principle that the game, as the most popular sport in the world, belongs to us all and can propel social cohesion.
The Fare network involves NGOs, minority groups, grassroots organisations and the professional football industry working together in a joint effort to celebrate diversity and combat racism, homophobia, sexism and other forms of discrimination at all levels of the game.
Fare was established in 1999 to act as a decentralised, grassroots network to facilitate anti-discrimination activity on various levels, ranging from transnational, Europe-wide initiatives to local football clubs. The enthusiasm and creativity of the founding organisations – and, from 2001, the support from UEFA – have been crucial to developing Fare into what it is today: a pioneer at the forefront of the fight for equality and inclusion in sport.
- Working with national associations and European governmental and intergovernmental level organisations, developing guides, producing diversity action plans; among other ongoing activities
- Organising and coordinating the annual #FootballPeople weeks campaign
- Producing educational resources for direct use within schools and other learning institutions
- Capacity-building by working with minority groups
- Match monitoring and reporting incidents of discrimination
- Participating at UEFA club competition finals festivals
Since 2012/13, Fare has supported 9,750 grassroots groups with more than 1,375 grants totalling over €700,000.
Homeless World Cup Foundation
The Homeless World Cup Foundation (HWCF) aims to use football to support and inspire homeless people to improve their lives, while challenging and changing perceptions and attitudes towards people who are homeless.
UEFA recognised the impact and inspirational nature an annual tournament would have on people who have been marginalised and began working with HWCF in 2003. The HWCF now touches the lives of over 80,000 people every year in 74 countries around the world.
The objective of the partnership with UEFA is to address a lack of stable accommodation, unemployment, physical and mental health challenges, addiction issues and being excluded and marginalised.
- Organising an annual Homeless World Cup tournament
- Supporting 74 partners year-round by coordinating and supporting continental tournaments
- Organising partner get-togethers and workshops ("iPass") to share information and ideas
- Running two referee training programme per year
As many as 497 players in 64 teams, including 19 women's teams, attended the 2017 Homeless World Cup in Oslo.
Centre for Access to Football in Europe
The Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) was set up to support UEFA and its national associations to ensure disabled people are able to enjoy an inclusive and accessible matchday experience. Accessible services and facilities allow differently disabled people to attend and enjoy live football matches amongst their fellow fans.
Since it was established in 2009, CAFE and UEFA have enjoyed many successes together in access and inclusion for disabled people. UEFA and CAFE published Access for All – the Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience. This Guide sets out the minimum accessibility requirements for new and existing stadiums, based on European standards, and is a valuable tool for any football association or club.
In recent years, CAFE has widened its focus to promote the inclusion of disabled people within the working world of football.
- Extending audio-descriptive commentary across Europe
- Increasing availability of stadium access information across Europe
- Increasing training in disability and inclusion etiquette
- Organising and promoting the CAFE Week of Action campaign
- Supporting and facilitating the implementation of the Disability Access Officer (DAO) criterion across Europe
- Conducting access appraisals in each host stadium
- Creating the Disabled Spectator's Guide
- Managing the implementation and development of the DAO role
The CAFE Week of Action was celebrated in 34 countries in 2018/19 – the largest number of participants since its creation.
Access for All – UEFA and CAFE Good Practice Guide to Creating an Accessible Stadium and Matchday Experience
Disability Access Officer Handbook
CAFE Audio-Descriptive Commentary Programme
CAFE Disabled Supporters Associations (DSAs) Information Pack
CAFE Week of Action 2018 Summary Report
CAFE Week of Action 2019 Information Pack
CAFE Guidance Note Sensory viewing rooms
CAFE Guidance Notes on Inclusive Employment
Colour Blind Awareness
Worldwide, there are approximately 300 million people with colour blindness, but despite the large number of people affected, colour blindness is an under-recognised and poorly understood condition.
In football, it is an important issue because it can affect players, spectators and management at every level of the game. It can impact a player’s performance, spoil the enjoyment of watching a match and adversely affect revenues. There are also potential safety issues at stadia which can result in serious repercussions for individuals, clubs and stadium operators.
Colour Blind Awareness highlights issues affecting colour blind people, including fans, players and employees, and aims to achieve equal access for every colour blind person, however they engage with football.
- Providing guidance generally on colour blindness in football
- Providing specific guidance regarding information, signage and equipment at stadiums
- Participating at UEFA club competition finals festivals
- Organising club training workshops
A colour blindness accessibility audit for stadiums had – by the end of the 2017/18 season – been applied to inspections of 10 of the 12 UEFA EURO 2020 stadiums, as well as the stadiums used for the 2018 UEFA club competition finals events.
International Blind Sports Federation
There are estimated to be over 30 million blind and partially sighted persons in geographical Europe. The overall objective of UEFA's partnership with the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) is to give all visually impaired men, women, girls and boys in Europe the opportunity to play football at the level they wish by continuing to expand and improve opportunities to train and play all over the continent.
IBSA's specific project aims include addressing the issues of social exclusion, lower participation levels, low self-esteem and self-confidence and social stigmas concerning visual impairment, and to promote the values associated with sport in general and team sports in particular.
- Actively promoting blind football in new countries, and offering support to introduce the game
- Fostering youth engagement and expanding women's blind football by staging European camps and tournaments for young players and women
- Providing blind football equipment – mainly balls, eyeshades and blackout goggles – to emerging European countries
- Expanding the pool of officials by organising referee training opportunities
- Hold in-country training weekends in new countries to teach players, coaches and others the basics of the game.
Since 2012, IBSA has donated 1,375 balls, 1,119 eyeshades and 127 sets of blackout goggles to programmes in 43 countries.
International Federation of CP Football
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in early childhood. Globally, over 17 million people have cerebral palsy, and that number is expected to increase.
The International Federation of CP Football (IFCPF) believes that it has a responsibility to foster unity within the CP football world and to use the sport to promote inclusive and accessible playing opportunities for everyone. Together with UEFA, IFCPF uses CP Football to promote solidarity, anti-discrimination, diversity, social integration and active and healthy lifestyles for all. With UEFA's support, IFCPF has become the leading body in CP Football.
- Delivering CP Football workshops and online education opportunities
- Supporting development tournaments with grant funding
- Increasing female participation by finding and promoting more opportunities
- Providing development grants
- Coordinating the general (quadrennial) competition cycle
In the first year, more than 12 countries have used CP football's mixed-gender rule to engage female players in CP football at a development level.
Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
There are as many as 200 million people with intellectual disabilities around the world. The mission of Special Olympics is to change lives through the power of sport by empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect.
The objective of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia's (SOEE) partnership with UEFA involves providing opportunities for training and competition in football for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, with a focus on increasing the number of female footballers with intellectual disabilities.
Through football, with a particular focus on unified football, people with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to develop as athletes, teammates and people.
- Organising local, national and cross-border football tournaments as part of the Special Olympics European Football Week
- Organising two annual European invitational football tournaments
- Organising seminars and workshops in countries on annual basis
- Organising the biannual SOEE football conference
- Developing unified youth football projects
- Participating in showcase matches at the UEFA Europa League Fan Zone and Champions Festival
In just one year, the number of Special Olympics footballers in Europe increased by 5,000.