Chairman of FIFA Anti-Racism and Discrimination Task Force pledges Member Associations to join the battle for inclusion
Sao Paulo, June 11, 2014 – Addressing an audience of over 1,200 delegates and guests at the 64th FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb, provided an update on the plan crafted to support the world of football in the fight against racism and discrimination.
“As per the mandate given the FIFA Congress last year, the Task Force against Racism and Discrimination continued its work with a second meeting in 2013,” said Webb. “Deliberations among discrimination experts, relevant institutions and opinion leaders took place to propose further recommendations to FIFA in order to strengthen its fight against discrimination, apply stricter sanctions and implement stronger prevention initiatives.”
Since the 2013 FIFA Congress in Mauritius, an action plan has been designed. Furthermore, limited but adequate resources have been made available to support the development and implementation of concrete initiatives and activities to achieve the Task Force’s goal.
Surveys, training modules for football officers, campaigns and other activities are being developed by FIFA in order to better support our Member Associations and continue improving the ways of combatting discrimination in football.
“We must increase the awareness of inclusion and diversity,” emphasized Webb. “We must reward best practice and partnerships that empower those who exercise their responsibility towards greater equality and fairness. We must educate to eradicate inequalities. We must show the positive effects of respect within society. And we must be strict on the consequences of inappropriate behavior across all levels of football.”
The football family has united to provide a strong, effective and influential voice against all forms of discrimination through education, prevention and sanctions. Education and sanction are keys to success.
“We are aware that we have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society, especially youth,” Webb continued. “Our goal is to promote a sport in which all individuals embrace diversity and bring universality to the game throughout the world. As we write history, we must stop and think what this means to us.”
Ignorance and prejudice are the ills of humanity. As a mirror of society and based on the basic social principle of equality and respect, football has expressed its commitment to social justice and racial integration.
Unfortunately, discrimination has been undermining the supreme quality of social equality so intrinsic to this sport. The abuse of players, officials and fans due to their skin color or ethnicity still plays an active role as an unfortunate reflection of society within all sports.
“The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the perfect occasion to send a clear message to the world: football is for all," stressed Webb. "As several world leaders have recently expressed, 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.
“Today, I hope we can create a new vision of inclusion and diversity within football. Today, I invite all of us to lead this change by example,” Webb concluded.