Football People stories

Dolores, Sven, Galina and John do not know each other, they live in Spain, Germany, Russia and Ireland. But their stories crossed as this week they joined a social movement of 100,000 people to celebrate diversity and inclusion during the Football People action weeks.

They share common ground on many issues, the main, however, is the use of football to promote social inclusion and empower ethnic minorities and women. During the Fare action weeks they held events addressing discrimination against migrants and refugees, far-right extremism and sexism.

On the closing week of the campaign, we share some of the stories of those who drive activities across Europe and beyond.

“We thought this may be a chance for us to show other people in Spain that there is another way to play football, and that this is a way to integrate and be part of something,” Dolores Galindo, Dragones de Lavapiés.

“We say that the will to combat racism and nationalism has to rise up from the middle of society, not only from the far left. We just consider ourselves to be normal fans who have a problem with discrimination. It’s the only chance we have to win this fight!” Sven Schneider, Schalker Fan Initiative.

“When you are treated as ‘just a girl’ by society, your behaviour should be calm, a bit shy and not too confident. This expectation impacts on the personalities of young girls. What we want from adults is to treat each other with new principles, and stop the stereotypes around boys and girls, men and women which have been going on for many, many years." Galina Shatilova, GirlPower Football Academy.

“The other thing is what Fare are trying to promote – that football is for everybody, and not just that there’s no place for discrimination in the game, so that it can be used as a positive tool to help people integrate and build communities and friendships. There are multiple aspects to it.” John McAree

Report incident