On 13 July 2011, FIFA will be using the platform of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in Germany to once again make a clear statement to millions of people around the world about football’s united stance against any kind of discrimination, be it racism, homophobia or discrimination on account of gender, ethnic origin, religion, or any other reason.
Thus, the two semi-final matches in Frankfurt and Monchengladbach will be dedicated to the fight against any form of social injustice. A few minutes before kick-off the two team captains will read a declaration to encourage players, officials and fans around the world to say ”no” to any form of discrimination, not only in football but also in society in general. Both teams and the match officials will also jointly pose with a banner displaying the unequivocal “Say no to Racism” message as part of the official match protocol.
“Football is a mirror of society, which means that unfortunately our game is still blighted by discrimination and intolerance. We must use our game to educate people, especially the world’s youth, about the importance of fair play and respect. These values should be upheld both on, and off the pitch. It is 2011, and we are all responsible to protect our game and ensure that any form of discrimination is shown the red card,” said FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
Although rejection of any form of discrimination should apply all year round, the yearly FIFA Anti-Discrimination Day provides an opportunity to unite the football family and speak out against all types of discrimination in our society.
FIFA’s stance against discrimination is embedded in its Statutes (Article 3 - Non-discrimination and stance against racism, which states that discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or groups of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion) as well as in the FIFA Code of Ethics (Article 7) and the FIFA Disciplinary Code (Article 58).
FIFA marked its first Anti-Discrimination Day on 7 July 2002, following a resolution against discrimination passed at the FIFA Congress in Buenos Aires in 2001.