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UEFA launches FootbALL programme to highlight importance of diversity and inclusion in European football

Media Releases About UEFA Social

The FootbALL programme highlights the power of football to drive positive social change across European communities and advocates that the game is open to all to enjoy, play, learn and develop.

FootbALL Campaign Launch

The launch of FootbALL marks the beginning of an extensive programme which will ensure an era of inclusive and equal opportunity in European football through close collaboration with all European football stakeholders to foster positive social change.

The programme is composed of three pillars – the Campaign, the Platform, and the Activation – which tie together all of UEFA’s social sustainability initiatives, events and campaigns.

This new initiative builds on UEFA’s ongoing commitment to harness football as a catalyst to foster positive change in society, with a simple yet significant message: in football, everyone is welcome.

FootbALL will spur new education actions and amplify existing ones, such as the Outraged educational programme, further informing the public on the efforts made by UEFA, its member organisations and football partners towards inclusion and equality in European football.

The programme also contributes to achieving the aims of UEFA’s Sustainability Strategy, which is to inspire, activate and accelerate collective action in support of social and environmental sustainability within the context of European football.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin is convinced of the power of football to drive positive change:

"Football, with its universal language, can break barriers and unite hearts. Inclusivity and openness are the keys that unlock the true potential of our game. By opening its arms to all, regardless of background, gender, or ability, football creates a level playing field where everyone feels welcome, respected and valued. With the FootbALL initiative, we aim to foster an environment where talent thrives without discrimination and dreams have no boundaries."

The FootbALL launch video campaign tells the stories of members of the football community, all from different backgrounds and all with different roles in football: from a referee to a groundskeeper, from a fan to a coach. It aims to challenge the viewer’s prejudices and assumptions about the protagonists and shows that despite their differences and unique qualities, they all belong in football. One such example in the video is the story of Linda Repetti, who works as a groundskeeper at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa:

"People are surprised when I tell them that I work as a groundskeeper because there are not many women who do this job in football. I have always fought and worked hard for my role."

Linda Repetti, groundskeeper at Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa.
Linda Repetti, groundskeeper at Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa.

As the anticipation grows for the UEFA Champions League final in Istanbul, the FootbALL programme’s campaign will officially kick off during this showpiece event. Fans will notice activity not only in the stadium on perimeter boardings, signage, and the stadium screen but also on UEFA’s social media channels, before, during and after the game.

Visitors to the UEFA Champions Festival in Istanbul will also familiarise themselves with the campaign, particularly during the Ultimate Champions tournament. The jerseys of the UEFA and Turkish legend players will display the new campaign logo as they proudly support the FootbALL campaign.

#FootbALL at the Champions Festival

National and club legend, Patrick Vieira mentions the importance of mutual respect in football:

"Football is unique in that it is able to transcend borders of nationality, ethnicity, gender, and religion. From an early age, children learn to play together and speak one common football language. We need to cherish and protect the diversity in football, so everyone can feel a respected part of the community."

Later this month, the inaugural FootbALL awards will be presented to the national association, club, player and league that have made outstanding contributions to inclusion, equality and diversity projects in football. In the 2023/24 and following seasons, the FootbALL programme will be further implemented across UEFAs competitions and on a national level in close collaboration with UEFA’s member associations.