All 60 UEFA Champions League, Europa League and for the first time, the UEFA Women’s Champions League, matches will endorse the message of the Fare action weeks through a series of activities promoting European football free of discrimination.
Match day activities will include the screening of the ‘No to Racism’ TV spot on giant screens in stadiums, announcements and print advertisements. Teams will be accompanied onto the pitch by children wearing ‘No to Racism’ T-shirts while captains will wear ‘No to Racism’ armbands.
These activities are a statement of UEFA’s focus on challenging intolerance and xenophobia in football, and will be witnessed by millions of fans in the stadiums and on television.
“Racism, discrimination and intolerance have no place in football,” said UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.
“I believe strongly that we must stand up to racism and all forms of discrimination, and I am proud of the work done by UEFA and our partners in tackling these issues.”
‘Diversity is a strength, not a weakness’
UEFA global ambassador for diversity and change, Clarence Seedorf, shared his views on the campaign and the necessity of engaging young people: “Diversity is a strength, not a weakness,” he said. “We need to educate young people, give them the possibility to understand that diversity is positive, and to feel and experience this, so they can then join forces in promoting a more diverse world.”
Football People ambassador and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Touré reinforced his commitment with the campaign and said: “I have experienced racial discrimination as a professional footballer and as a man walking down the street, so I have a deep understanding of this problem.
“We can utilise the power of football as a great resource to educate people and help break down the barriers of racism within the game and society.”
Professional clubs join the Football People movement
Scottish champions Celtic FC have also put together their own video, with players and management coming together to deliver the club’s united voice that racism has no place in society.
Captain Scott Brown said: “We are delighted again to join this year’s campaign to tackle racism in society. Celtic has been a club open to all since its formation in 1888 and openness, diversity and inclusion are values which are at the Club’s core. We are delighted to send out this message once again, loud and clear, that racism has no place in society.”
So far, professional clubs in Austria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have joined the social movement. As well as, the Football Federations of Bulgaria, Italy, Moldova, Slovakia, Turkey.
Football Federations of England and Croatia, the International Players’ Union FIFPro and the Players’ Union of Finland and Hungary acknowledged the campaign on social media, while the Greek Super League, the Malta Football Association (FA), Austrian Bundesliga and First League, the Irish FA and the Lithuanian U21 national team dedicated matches and ran anti-discrimination and inclusion activities as part of the campaign.