UNESCO Report on the fight against discrimination and racism in football

UNESCO Report on the fight against discrimination and racism in football

Sport provides a unique platform to promote the values of intercultural dialogue and understanding, to deepen social inclusion and to promote gender equality. We know also that sport can be exploited to divide and discriminate – sporting events have been scared by episodes of racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. We have seen the exchange of racial epithets between athletes, along with crowd taunts that are based on race, ethnic or cultural background – and these have occurred at all levels of sport.

The playing fields of football are built with the profound values of fair play, equality and mutual respect – they sometimes also display unacceptable racist, xenophobic and intolerant views.

To counter this challenge, UNESCO is acting across the board with all its partners. In 2009, the European Club Association signed, on behalf of its 144 members, a Declaration promoting the inclusion of anti-discrimination and anti-racism clauses in players’ contracts. Since then, in multiple partnerships with football clubs – including Barcelona and Malaga FC (Spain), Ruby Shenzhen (China), Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia) and recently with Juventus Football Club (Italy) — UNESCO has placed emphasis on the role of clubs in propagating the essential messages of tolerance, respect and inclusion.

This Report offers the first exhaustive overview of the challenge and proposes good practice that can be taken forward by clubs everywhere.

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