The research’s findings will be published by the end of 2015 in a report aimed at providing governments and other stakeholders with insight and data on the issue, and guidance on how it can be tackled.
“UNESCO is delighted to join forces with Juventus in the fight against discrimination and in building a stronger society, in which everyone has equal opportunities,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
The official kick-off of the joint action will take place on 02 June during the first UNESCO Cup match, to be played between Juventus and Real Madrid at the Italian team’s ground, in Turin.
“This will be the first UNESCO Cup, but it is our intention that this will become an annual event.” said Andrea Agnelli, President of Juventus.
Racism in Italian football
Over the last years, several incidents have drawn attention to a problem of discrimination in the Italian football, including last year’s Supercup match between Lazio and Juventus, in which the ‘bianconeri’ players Paul Pogba, Kwadwo Asamoah and Angelo Ogbonna were racially abused by a group of Lazio supporters.
“Issues, including social integration and the fight against racism, need to be prioritised by UEFA, but they should also be prioritised by educational bodies. That means that everyone should be educated about discrimination.” explained the President of Juventus.
“It’s a long and complex journey, and that’s why everyone’s commitment is required,” he added.
The match will bring together former legends of the two clubs, including Emilio Butragueño and Fernando Hierro on Real Madrid’s side and the Juventus’ legends Edgar Davids, Fabio Grosso, Pavel Nedved and Gianluca Pessotto.
The match’s revenues will also help fund projects that provide assistance and seek the integration of former child soldiers, in Mali and the Central African Republic, through literacy programmes, skills training, and cultural and sporting initiatives.