Football Associations, top-tier clubs, European leagues and international players all came together during week one of this year’s #FootballPeople weeks, helping back the campaign with a message of diversity and inclusion for all.
At all 48 UEFA club competition matches played during this period, including this week’s UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Women’s Champions League games, players will line-up for a mixed photo and display the hashtag of UEFA’s anti-discrimination and social inclusion campaign #EqualGame.
Videos played on giant screens, announcements made over the stadium loudspeakers and child mascots wearing #FootballPeople t-shirts will also encourage those at the stadium and at home to stand up to discrimination and to embrace diversity.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: “The Fare #FootballPeople weeks are a crucial focal point of the fight against racism, discrimination and intolerance in football. Thousands of people are involved each year – and UEFA is a committed partner, using its high-profile competitions as a platform to spread key messages.
“Let’s all celebrate diversity and inclusion in the beautiful game!”
— Fare (@farenet) October 10, 2019
Football Associations back the Football People weeks
During the international break several international teams came out to back the #FootballPeople weeks campaign.
In Italy, international stars Leonardo Bonucci, Torino’s Andrea Belotti and AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli threw their support behind the Football People weeks on behalf of the Italian national team.
— Nazionale Italiana (@Vivo_Azzurro) October 11, 2019
The German FA sent a message of inclusion for all through Bayern Munich star Serge Gnabry.
— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) October 12, 2019
The Iceland football federation brought star players out such as Augsburg’s Alfred Finnbogason to represent the Football People weeks.
Everyone should be able to enjoy football without being discriminated against. There is no place for racism, sexism, homophobia or any other form of discrimination in this beautiful game. We support @farenet and the #footballpeople weeks. Join us! pic.twitter.com/ZjFmuddtlE
— Knattspyrnusambandið (@footballiceland) October 13, 2019
Despite the racist abuse against England players that stained Bulgarian football’s reputation in their Euro 2020 qualifier against England, Bulgaria captain Ivelin Popov threw his support behind the Football People weeks with a message of solidarity and togetherness.
"Football unites, racism divides! Let fans, clubs and players come together for what we love – football! Regardless of race or skin colour we are all #FootballPeople."
— Fare (@farenet) October 14, 2019
The Football Associations of Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia and more also shared their support by sending pictures of national team captains or star players wearing Football People t-shirts.
Clubs get involved
Many clubs across Europe have done the same, including AEK Larnaka, Apollon FC, BSC Young Boys, CSKA Moscow, Doxa Katokopias FC, Juventus, LASK Linz, Napoli, Olympiakos, Valencia, FC Zurich and more.
In Italy, Juventus threw their support behind the campaign with social media coverage that included star player Aaron Ramsey.
Anche quest'anno la Juventus conferma il proprio impegno accanto a @farenet a favore dell’inclusione sociale e contro ogni forma di discriminazione nello sport. #FootballPeople pic.twitter.com/YboN4XwkUW
— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) October 13, 2019
Serie A giants Napoli also joined the movement with a message against discrimination.
Greek powerhouse Olympiakos ran content on its social media pages supporting the campaign, as did other clubs in Greece including champions PAOK FC.
— Olympiacos FC (@olympiacosfc) October 22, 2019
AEK Larnaka also backed the #FootballPeople weeks with anti-discrimination messages on social media featuring their main players.
— AEK Larnaka (@AEK_LARNAKA) October 16, 2019
Dynamo Dresden announced they will support the #FootballPeople weeks with t-shirts reading “Love Dinamo, Hate Racism” at their home game against Arminia Bielefeld. Champions League outfit Valencia CF also posted their support on Twitter.
⚽️ is meant to UNITE us 🖤
— Valencia CF English 🦇💯 (@valenciacf_en) October 21, 2019