Thursday 22 March 2018, 09:34

FIFA, LOC mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination  

FIFA, the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) and Federal Centre in Tolerance joined forces yesterday to take part in a series of activities to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination across Russia and to promote the message of anti-discrimination and diversity.

With just under 85 days until the start of 2018 FIFA World Cup, dedicated lessons were taught in schools across Russia, winners of a nationwide art competition were unveiled at a special ceremony hosted at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, and FIFA’s Head of Sustainability and Diversity, Federico Addiechi, joined a panel discussion in Paris hosted by the European Football for Development Network.

“The FIFA statutes are absolutely clear: racism and any other form of discrimination have no place in football,” said Addiechi.” In recent years, we have expanded our strategy and made great strides to fight it in football globally and ensure that our events are free of discrimination and inclusive for all.”

The lessons were prepared in collaboration with the Federal Research and Methodological Centre of Psychology and Education in Tolerance and implemented by the LOC in schools across Russia. The activities aimed to excite and engage children and young people across three age groups and also educate them about using football as a platform to build tolerance and combat discrimination in society. In line with previous activities that took place in Russia last year to mark the International Day for Tolerance, the lessons featured a short film, as well as a series of individual and group tasks and discussions.

The nationwide art contest, ran by the Federal Centre in Tolerance, came to an end at the Jewish Museum with a special ceremony announcing the winners and was attended by Zabivaka and a host of stars from Russia and the football community, such as Russia women’s national team players Lina Yakupova and Yulia Grichenko, as well as former footballer and a TV pundit Evgeniy Savin. The competition - which involved students and young artists from arts universities, vocational establishments, educational organisations across Russia - sought to engage young people aged 15-30 and Russian society to help build a discrimination-free environment and spread humanitarian values through the power of football.

“In football everyone are equal, regardless of the ethnical group you belong to”, said Zoya Mitusova, a 29-year old artist from Voronezh, whose work was chosen the best in Football against stereotypes nomination. “This is why I depicted legs of people of different races stretching to the ball. I wanted to show that football unites everyone with the one goal and contrived antagonism”.

FIFA builds further on diversity and anti-discrimination work in football Today’s activities build on FIFA’s ongoing work and commitment to promoting diversity and tolerance in football, as well as recent activities and initiatives it is carrying out with the Russia 2018 LOC, FIFA partners, NGOs and other stakeholders in this area.

Some of the key activities that FIFA has introduced to combat discrimination in football include:

  • The introduction of an anti-discrimination monitoring system, which was carried out during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and will be in place for the final competition

  • The introduction of a three-step procedure for referees in case of discriminatory incidents at FIFA tournaments, which was in place for the first time at the FIFA Confederations Cup and will be implemented during the FIFA World Cup

  • The publication of a Good Practice Guide for member associations

  • The creation of the FIFA Diversity Award

Ongoing measures also include proactively distributing information to fans, introducing enhanced security and monitoring procedures inside the stadium and delivering diversity training and education for all staff, volunteers and stewards – the latter also done in collaboration with Federal Research and Methodological Centre of Psychology and Education in Tolerance.

For more information on FIFA’s work in the field of anti-discrimination, please click here

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