Season 2020 – 2021: Continued Social Commitment of Belgian Professional Clubs and Pro League
The past season was quite a challenge for the Pro League clubs when it comes to social work. But the commitment remained unchanged. The power of football was used to create a social impact in local communities. Football organisations have been innovative on the fringes of what was allowed, together with supporters, staff and volunteers.
An overview of the social impact of the Pro League clubs in 2020:
- €1,935,655 budget for social projects
- 191 social projects
- 16,895 participants in social projects
- 60 social projects with schools
- 464 fan clubs
- 5,392,570 followers on social media
In a year when the health crisis was rampant, the Pro League and its clubs supported various causes, strengthened partnerships and launched new initiatives.
Last season the Pro League developed its own ‘Football & Community magazine’ in collaboration with rights holder Eleven Sports. The magazine, Eleven United, offers a glimpse into the daily and diverse social engagement of Pro League clubs. Topics covered include education, diversity and anti-racism, health, inclusion, environment, supporter participation, and drug prevention.
Hotline Racism and Discrimination
On the International Day against Racism and Discrimination (21 March), the Pro League launched its own contact point against racism and discrimination. Speeches or insults that affect the identity of fans while they are experiencing their passion have no place in sport. Victims or witnesses of incidents in or around the stadium can now report this via a report button on the Pro League website.
Support to Tele-Onthaal/Télé-Accueil
In 2020, Tele-Onthaal received no less than 140,000 calls, a record number. The main mission of Tele-Onthaal is to offer people a listening ear when needed. The need for a listening ear is very great in these times. For this reason, the Pro League decided to donate the compensation for violations of the COVID-19 guidelines (€100,000) to Tele-Onthaal and Télé-Accueil.
World Autism Awareness Day
For children with an autism spectrum disorder, it is often impossible to attend a football match. Too many stimuli can make it particularly difficult for these children to attend a match. Playing in empty stadiums last season offered children with ASD a unique opportunity to attend a match in a low-stimulus environment, approved and supported by the three competent Ministers for Sport, Ben Weyts, Valérie Glatigny and Isabelle Weykmans.