The Players and Clubs across 60 matches all over Europe have offered their support to the UEFA “No to Racism” campaign, which challenges discrimination in the field of football. The campaign has got the backing of star names, top clubs and in a historic first, the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
This campaign of UEFA campaign has traditionally been a part of the Football People action weeks organised by UEFA social responsibility partner, the FARE network. The campaign which fights against the racism of all kind and celebrate diversity, runs from 6 to 20 October across 60 matches in UEFA’s top club competitions which cover a considerable part of Europe.
Speaking about the vision related to this campaign, UEFA President Aleksander Čefer said, “Racism, discrimination and intolerance have no place in football. I believe strongly that we must stand up to racism and all forms of discrimination, and I am proud of the work done by UEFA and our partners in tackling these issues.”
During the period of the campaign, activities are staged to be witnessed by millions of fans in the stadiums and on television; TV spots are being shown during half-time of matches, alongside announcements and print advertisements. The teams are accompanied by children wearing “No to Racism T-shirts”, when they walk into the field of play and captains wear “No to Racism” armbands.
In a historical first, the UEFA Women’s Champions League is part of this campaign: which means that top club competitions will all be promoting the same message:
“We are all Football People, regardless of background or status, and we stand together against discrimination.”
During the Football People weeks over 100,000 people are directly involved in activities across 50 countries of Europe.
Speaking about the noble cause related campaign, UEFA’s global ambassador for diversity and change, Clarence Seedorf, said, “Diversity is a strength, not a weakness. We need to educate young people, give them the possibility to understand that diversity is positive, and to feel and experience this, so they can then join forces in promoting a more diverse world.” Stressing the importance of including the youth who can soon be a force of change in/across borders and nationalities.
Clarence Clyde Seedorf, 40, Surinamese, the Global Ambassador of the campaign, is a Dutch football manager and former footballer, arguably the best midfielder of his era.
In addition to this awareness campaign, UEFA impose stricter sanctions on racist behaviour to eliminate any discrimination from football. These sanctions can include stopping, suspension or even abandonment of a game if racism occur during a match; the player or team official can get an up to ten-match suspensions if found guilty of racist conduct; and partial or total stadium closures if fans engage in racist behaviour.