The FIFA Conference for Equality and Inclusion will return for a fourth successive year, as figures from football and beyond come together to discuss making the sport an environment that welcomes all.
Moderated by journalist and television broadcaster Kate Abdo on 2 March 2018, under the heading of ‘Pass it on – Hope through football’, the conference will touch on how equal opportunities in sport can impact on real societal changes, how it can be used to help facilitate integration into society and its ability to empower individuals.
Through the annual Conference for Equality and Inclusion, FIFA seeks to advocate the important role of sport – and especially football – as a true equaliser, as a key tool for integration, and as an avenue for opportunities and positive change. With “Pass it on – Hope through football”, FIFA wishes to use the power of football's popularity to promote and implement values of tolerance, diversity, equality, integration and inclusion.
As in past years, the 2018 conference will convene international personalities and role models, international experts from football, the world of sports, and the humanitarian community to tell their stories, share their experiences, and exchange their insights an expertise.
This year’s speakers include Chan Yuen Ting, the first female coach to take a men's side to the league title in Hong Kong and subsequently lead a team in a men’s continental competition at the AFC Champions League. She will be joined by Ugandan international Jean Sseninde, a member of the Common Goal initiative – the first person from Africa to join. She also started her own foundation, carrying the motto "Empowering Women, Building Tomorrow". This year's keynote speech will be given by International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) Secretary General Elhadj As Sy.
Former Mali international Frederic Kanoute, African footballer of the year in 2007, will also speak at the conference. He started the Kanoute Foundation in partnership with Unicef, while also advises clubs and academies through 12 MANagement and is a regularly outspoken humanitarian. Former Russia international Alexey Smertin, who serves as Anti-Discrimination Officer for the Football Union of Russia, will also take part in the conference.
The conference hopes to see all in attendance leave with new and enhanced perspectives on how integration through sports and football works and place it within a larger societal context.
Free to attend and open to the public, the past three editions have welcomed participants and onlookers from around the world, allowing for a truly global conversation.
Full details on the sessions and the panellists can be found in the conference agenda, which you can download here.
For further information, please email FIFA4equality@fifa.org.
Full list of speakers:
Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC)
Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan, Founder and Executive Director, Horn of Africa Development Initiative (HODI)
Loretta Claiborne, Chief Inspiration Officer, Special Olympics Inc.
Warshan Hussin, Soccer Without Borders, Role Model
Chan Yuen Ting, First Female Coach, Hong Kong Premier League
Mario Fehr, Head of Security and Minister of Sports, Canton of Zurich
Kevin Hylton, Professor of Equality and Diversity in Sport and Education, Leeds Beckett University
Rosa Roncal, Director of International Department, Real Madrid Foundation
Mel Young, President and co-founder, Homeless World Cup
Frédéric Kanouté, Former Professional Footballer – Mali and France
Jean Sseninde, Professional Footballer – Uganda
Federico Addiechi, Head of Sustainability and Diversity, FIFA
Sarai Bareman, Chief of Womens Football Division, FIFA
Fiona May, Head of Integration, Italian Football Association
Alexey Smertin, Anti-Discrimination Officer and Former Professional Footballer – Football Union of Russia
Silje Vaadal, Board Member, Norwegian Football Association & Head of Culture and Community Development, Horten Municipality