Pro League Come Together Awards – Reward Your Project Against Discrimination

17 August 2023

Pro League Come Together Awards – Reward Your Project Against Discrimination

Together with the KBVB, the Pro League calls on clubs, players, trainers, referees, supporters, … to nominate projects that work against discrimination or promote diversity.

With the Come Together Awards – named after the Come Together action plan, the Pro League together with KBVB, Voetbal Vlaanderen and the Association des Clubs Francophones de Football want to highlight clubs that fight against discrimination and racism, and promote inclusion. They are calling for projects to be nominated, whether carried out in provincial series or pro football. Anyone involved (individual or group initiatives) in a football club can nominate an initiative by Saturday 30 September by completing the form. It could, for example, be about integrating underprivileged children into a club, organising inclusive tournaments, creating a G-team and sensitising club members against racism. From those submissions, the jury chaired by Mbo Mpenza will choose the final winners, who will receive one of the very first Come Together awards.

Come Together jury

Jury president Mbo Mpenza gets the help of Red Flame player, Justine Vanhaevermaet and Red Devil player, Amadou Onana, among others, to highlight clubs that fight against discrimination and racism, and promote inclusion. Ex-Red Devil Mbo Mpenza plays an important role in the fight against discrimination and racism in football. He has been working with KBVB and UEFA for years on projects that promote inclusion.

As a woman, Vanhaevermaet has been overcoming prejudice for years, managing to build a great career in football. She is an example for many young girls who dream of becoming football stars. The fight against discrimination and racism is close to Onana’s heart. He knows that things are sometimes tough in the football world, and that racism and discrimination still keep too many young people away from football fields.

Anouk Bonte and Gregory Franck are members of KBVB’s Diversity Board, consisting of experts who are regularly consulted on diversity and inclusion. Anouk works as an expert on gender and inclusion at the Belgian government. She believes in the power of football to strengthen social ties between people from different communities. Gregory works as a mandatary for the Brussels government and specialises, among other things, in labour integration. He hopes to highlight the work of many volunteers in clubs through the Come Together Awards.

“Too many people still think that diversity in football clubs brings difficult challenges, but above all it enriches the lives of our children. In football clubs, they learn things that you don’t learn in school, norms and values that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. Clubs committed to greater diversity and inclusion therefore deserve our support and encouragement.”

Mbo Mpenza, jury president

Come Together Action Plan

The Come Together action plan was launched in 2021 to strengthen the fight against discrimination and racism in football, and promote inclusion. The establishment of a hotline for facts of discrimination and racism, the appointment of an inclusion manager, the creation of a Diversity Board and a National Chamber on Discrimination and Racism are a few initiatives from the action plan. Organising training courses on diversity and tackling discrimination in football clubs, also contributes. The ambition is to eliminate discrimination, racism, homophobia and other forms of inequality from football fields and stadiums.


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