Football People weeks: how to get involved26 September 2017

Asthe FootballPeopleactionweeksapproachwewantyoutogetinvolvedinthelargestanti-discriminationandsocialinclusioncampaigninEuropeansport. Withthousandsofeventshappeningbetweenthe5th and19thOctober,everyonecangetinvolved.

During the weeks around 2,000 activities take place, including 14 national and international-level events that will drive debates on inclusion and anti-discrimination in football, alongside grassroots activities.

Take action
In the run-up to the Fare action weeks give a shout-out to the campaign and send us an individual or group video with a message of support. Follow the lead of international football stars including Didier Drogba, Yaya Touré, Thomas Hitzlesperger and Anita Asante and share pictures of yourself in a Football People t-shirt on social media. Why not also use it as your profile picture during the period?

You might also want to use the Football People artwork on the posts you share. There are social media headers available in nine languages and other resources free to download.

Football organisations and grassroots groups can get involved by organising activities on issues that relate to the fight against discrimination in football and its unifying power. These will all be featured in a map and list of activities, which will also allows those interested in attending, participating or volunteering to find out more.

You can also buy a campaign pack with Football People branded material for your activity.

What you can do:

  • Panel discussions, book presentations or film screenings
  • Q&A sessions with (ex) players or others on topics on inclusion and anti-discrimination
  • Hold anti-discrimination tournaments
  • Workshops
  • Podcast and videos addressing inclusion and anti-discrimination
  • Organise a match-day experience for ethnic minorities or refugees in your club
  • Make a fundraiser event for refugees at a match

One of the most direct and innovative activities is run by Sport Against Racism in Ireland (SARI) who travel across Ireland taking football sessions to disadvantaged groups. This year the travelling roadshow will take football sessions to refugee centres and young people at risk of exclusion.

Driving education 
Many participants try to create last-longing impact through educational activities during the action weeks. In 2015, the Portuguese University Instituto da Maia led workshops on gender and football across the Porto metropolitan region, which sought to educate and challenge cultural barriers that prevent Roma girls and women participating in sport.

The production of educational resources and good practice guides is a growing practice amongst the Football People movement. The UK-based network Black Collective of Media in Sport (BCOMS) has compiled two guides after organising two Football People Event Grant conferences in 2014 and 2016  addressing the under-representation of ethnic minorities in sports media.

Educational organisations can also join by:

  • Organising lectures on racism and discrimination in relation to football
  • Devise a quiz about diversity and migration of the local club/team
  • Research the history of Roma, Jews or other minority groups in your local club
  • Produce exhibitions celebrating women/ethnic minorities in football
  • Host guided tours or visits to memorials, museums or other

Focus on big issues 
This year’s Fare action weeks will be be the biggest yet. The movement is growing and is fast adapting to new social challenges. In 2017, two Irish groups will focus their activities on highlighting the Rohingya refugee crisis and the issues they face in resettlement.

In previous years, others included a Russian round-table on challenges ahead of the World Cup in 2018 and a conference on Jewish and Arab tolerance.

Football fans are the heart of the game and in many countries they are among the most progressive voices. During recent Football People weeks, football fans tackled the rise of nationalism and far-right movements inside stadiums through fan choreographies and promoted the inclusion of refugees through fundraising and playing initiatives. The promotion of LGBT+ rights and gender equality has also been increasingly part of their agenda.

Top of the game
Across professional football, clubs and associations have been prompt in backing the campaign and designating matches to the fight against discrimination.

Olympiacos, Celtic FC, FC København and Panathinaikos FC have produced videos featuring some of the clubs’ most prominent stars sending messages against racism.

UEFA, the International Players’ Union FIFPro, leagues and several Football Associations have also led inclusion activities as part of the campaign.

Clubs, leagues and Football Associations willing to join the Fare action weeks can:

  • Send a photo of a leading player in a Football People t-shirt and a quote
  • Produce videos with their players sending messages against discrimination
  • Implement on-pitch activities: using ethnic minorities as children mascot; captains reading messages against discrimination; players warming up and line-up with Football People t-shirts, banners, etc.
  • Dedicate a match to the campaign
  • Work with ethic minorities / refugees / socially excluded groups
  • Invite ethic minorities / refugees / socially excluded groups to a game
  • Q&A sessions with (ex) players around diversity and inclusion in football / workshops / conferences
  • Encourage fans to host a choreography
  • Support the campaign on social media using the hash tag #FootballPeople

Follow 
The easiest way to join and promote the Football People action weeks is to follow Fare network on social media and share, retweet and like Fare posts. The official channels for the campaign are:

The hashtag of the campaign is #FootballPeople.

For more information consult our info sheets:

© ValeBelluno