FIFA Vice President, CONCACAF President and Chairman of FIFA’s Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force, Jeffrey Webb.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the football family reinforces the importance to eradicate racism and discrimination from football and society and reiterates its assertion to promoting diversity within the world of football.
A year ago, FIFA was invited by the United Nations on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to take part in a discussion on the issue of racism in sports.
Since this fruitful discussion, FIFA and the football community have made several important steps in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination. A Task Force was created to craft proposals and last May the FIFA Congress approved a resolution with a new set of sanctions in cases of racism that includes point deductions, expulsion from a competition or relegation for reoffenders or for serious incidents.
As the most widely-spread sport in the world, FIFA has taken a zero-tolerance stance towards discrimination and will continue to put its vast platform at the service of human kind. We are hopeful this will help remove the discrimination barriers that steer the focus away from the game of football.
Chosen by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, this year's theme is the role of leaders in combating discrimination.
The football family has united with a firm stance to provide a strong, effective and influential voice against all forms of discrimination through education, prevention and sanctions. We are aware that we have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society, especially youth. Our goal is to promote a sport in which all individuals embrace diversity and bring universality to the game throughout the world.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be the perfect occasion to send a clear message to the world: football is for all. The quarter finals of the tournament will be dedicated to the fight against discrimination and I am convinced that Brazil, with its diverse society, will be the perfect host. As President Rousseff mentioned recently, this will be a World Cup against racism and all forms of discrimination.
Football has the power to promote integration and endorse positive roles models in society. This beautiful sport is filled with passion, and passion has the power to pave the way for deep change.
As a clear mirror of the society of the 21th century, football aspires to create an environment of fellowship and respect that enhances the true talent that lies within all human beings. For achievement has no bias. Our true identity is indeed our talent.
Proclaimed by the United Nations as a day of observance, FIFA treasures this occasion and ensures the fulfillment of our commitment to eradicate inequality from our fields.
As we start the day, let us all connect to that passion that fuels the positive change we want to see in the world. Let’s all stand up against racism and discrimination. Let’s embrace diversity.
Chairman of FIFA Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force