Discrimination is arguably as old as humankind is, and the idea of completely stamping it out of society – and of the football world, consequently – is probably naïve. The fight against discrimination is a continuous one, which involves changing mentalities and often runs through ideas and actions that are just as simple as they may be effective.
FIFA has now gathered several of these practical examples in its Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination - a handbook that has been sent through to all 209 Member Associations that encourages the actors in the world of football to take part of anti-discrimination initiatives in the most proper and effective way.
This includes a number of seemingly unpretentious actions that can make a difference – such as stadium announcements by former players, rainbow-coloured laces against homophobia or football tournaments for blind and partially sighted players.
“Good campaigns don’t necessarily need to be expensive. The important thing is that these initiatives make best use of the interests and expertise already available in each place”, says FIFA’s Head of Sustainability Federico Addiechi, who recently announced the implementation of anti-discrimination match observers as part of the new FIFA Anti-Discrimination Monitoring System for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifiers and the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017.
After having agreed on the resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination during the FIFA Congress 2013, the Member Associations have now time until 31 March 2016 to present their concrete action plans, and the Good Practice Guide will be an important tool to help them fulfill their duties. “It’s a useful reminder for the Member Associations to confirm the intention to fight racism and discrimination among players, officials and fans”, adds Addiechi.
The latest edition of The FIFA Weekly magazine dedicates its cover story to the fight against discrimination and the release of the Good Practice Guide.