Friday 02 March 2018, 09:19

Pass it on: Football is for all

  • ​FIFA Conference for Equality and Inclusion staged on 2 March 2018

  • FIFA 1904 takes a look at what FIFA has done so far to promote and achieve equality and inclusion

  • Magazine this month dedicated to celebrating achievements and famous figures at the conference

FIFA has already achieved a great deal in terms of equality, integration and accessibility. With the FIFA Conference for Equality and Inclusion staged at Home of FIFA in Zurich on 2 March 2018, and just a few months to go until the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, FIFA’s monthly magazine, FIFA 1904, takes a look at what FIFA has done so far to promote and achieve equality and inclusion through football worldwide.

The magazine this month is dedicated to celebrating these achievements and some of the famous figures at the conference. Former Mali international Frédéric Kanouté, graced a number of top European clubs, but today his goals are more humanitarian. He says: “I hope people use their influence for change.”

We also caught up with Pascal Erlachner, who became the first elite Swiss referee to come out publicly as a homosexual. About the reaction of the public he says: “Congratulatory messages, all of them. Isn’t that great?”

Young Somali refugee Fatuma tells us how the American organisation Soccer Without Borders changed her life. She knows: “Football has the power to unite people from around the world.”

England international Fara Williams faced over six years of homelessness during the early stages of her career. Despite her unfortunate situation, she says: “I had football to focus on. I wanted to represent my country and I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way.”

FIFA’s Chief Member Associations Officer Joyce Cook has been an advocate of equality and inclusion for many years. On the movement toward greater access for disabled people to enjoy football matches with their loves ones, she says: “That is for me the magic of football. Football shining at its very best.”

A Corporate Communications Manager at FIFA and the founder of the FIFA Conference for Equality and Inclusion, Honey Thaljieh, talks about the power of the universal language of football: “It creates new avenues and opportunities for those of us less privileged, and unites us through smiles and our love for the game. It is a tool to build bridges of cooperation, solidarity and hope.”