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UEFA marks Zero Discrimination Day

About UEFA

United Nations Zero Discrimination Day, on 1 March, highlights how we can all promote inclusion, compassion, peace and a movement for positive social change.

An OUTRAGED presentation at the 2023 Because We Care Conference in Tubize, Belgium.
An OUTRAGED presentation at the 2023 Because We Care Conference in Tubize, Belgium. Sportpix

In line with the values embedded in our new strategy, and reflecting the UEFA Football Sustainability Strategy 2030, the celebration of Zero Discrimination Day provides a platform to emphasise the role of UEFA and the European football community in accelerating collaborative action towards fighting all forms of discrimination.

"We must act to remove all forms of discrimination in football. This is a collaborative effort that requires the participation of everyone in the sport both on and off the field. Equality and inclusion is a natural part of all football activities and we need to protect every individual so that they feel part of the football community."

Michele Uva, UEFA director of Social & Environmental Sustainability

Below, we highlight some of our actions to tackle discrimination and emphasise the importance of equality and inclusion.

FootbALL programme

Continuing UEFA’s long-standing work on leveraging the reach of European football to support messages around positive social change, the current programme – FootbALL – aims to highlight the aspects related to social sustainability and human rights. This campaign showcases stories from across football, emphasising the diversity that exists within the game, and how we can work together to ensure our sport is welcoming to everyone.

FootbALL Campaign Launch

Fighting online abuse

In line with the belief that discrimination has no place in our game or society, and whether in person or online, we have taken extensive measures to act to prevent, monitor and report online abuse within European football.

Following a successful launch at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, we are running an online abuse monitoring programme across our club finals and international tournaments. To support this, in engaging individuals, teams and account owners, we also offer guidance to the participating players and teams across these events, advising them how to best protect their accounts from abusive and harmful content.

The monitoring system also allows UEFA to share evidence of abusive content, facilitating action and possible criminal investigations when relevant.

OUTRAGED educational toolkit

Last year, we launched a multilingual educational toolkit to supplement our OUTRAGED documentary series, to engage children, young adults, parents, coaches and team staff in dialogue around how individuals and groups can act to prevent and manage different forms of discrimination. The toolkit has proved a hit with clubs and national associations.

Javier Zanetti, vice president, FC Internazionale Milan:

"Being asked to pilot the Outraged project as part of the battle against discrimination in football is an important recognition for us and has allowed us to tackle complex topics with a tool that is easy to access and understand for a diverse audience, with the support and constant guidance of a huge institution such as UEFA.

"Inter’s vision is for all young players that go through the youth ranks to have a meaningful experience which leads to their development in all areas and which is unforgettable and enriching, regardless of the future path that they may follow. The challenges that we are facing nowadays, however, require an even greater level of commitment and sense of responsibility.

"For this reason, Outraged will be permanently included in our range of initiatives as an important tool to continue raising awareness, educating and implementing preventative measures."

Inter via Getty Images

Geraldine Heinen, Social and Environmental Sustainability committee member, Royal Belgian Football Association:

"Using OUTRAGED we have started a very enriching debate on actions taken at the top level, such as stopping matches in the event of discrimination in the public. We hope that the OUTRAGED programme will be implemented all over Europe. We are convinced that change comes from the younger generation."

Jason Webber, senior equality, diversity, inclusion & sustainability manager, Football Association of Wales:

"In the ongoing battle against discrimination in football, the Football Association of Wales has embraced UEFA's OUTRAGED toolkit within its own education programme. Leveraging the experiences and insights of some of football's biggest names, this resource has served as a powerful tool for change in Wales. By adopting this toolkit, the FAW has not only raised awareness but also actively engaged the football community in the crucial conversation of anti-discrimination leading the charge towards a more inclusive future where discrimination has no place in the beautiful game."

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