The biggest social change campaign in football kicks off today bringing together hundreds of thousands of people alongside players, clubs, Leagues and governing bodies to stand together to tackle discrimination and fight for inclusion and equality.
Activities are being organised in over fifty countries throughout October as part of the Fare Football People action weeks.
Football interventions will feature members of the movement holding events on issues including the participation and representation of women, homophobia, the involvement of ethnic minorities, challenging the far right in football and the social inclusion of refugees. Over a hundred thousand participants will directly take part in events organised during the period.
To help develop grassroots action, over two hundred Fare grants have been awarded to groups including refugee and asylum seeker aid organisations, womens associations, ethnic minority groups, clubs and human rights NGOs. Amongst the most dynamic events will be the involvement of women in football beyond the playing field and examples of how the game can contribute to the inclusion of ethnic minorities on and off the pitch.
Fare Executive Director, Piara Powar, said: The Football People weeks are becoming a landmark in the international calendar for both professional and amateur football. The campaign is an open initiative, if you believe in the values of inclusion, tolerance and want to contribute to a better world through football join us by organising an event, sending us a message, or sharing film on social media on issues that are relevant to you.
The increasing support of professional football has furthered the campaigns recognition internationally. The Football Federations of Bulgaria, Slovakia and Turkey and clubs such as FC Porto, AS Roma and FC Krasnodar are among those that will lend their support this year. In UEFA competitions all matches, including Champions League, Europa League and Womens Champions League, will see activities as part of the UEFA No To Racism campaign.
Professional clubs and Football Associations will make an important contribution to the cause. They show that they engage in actions that aim to make their stadiums and clubs welcoming to all, but they also help the message of inclusion reach hundreds of thousands added Powar.
FURD is proud to have supported the Fare Action Weeks since their inception in 2000 and would like to help share news of any anti-discrimination initiatives that are taking place in the next two weeks