Volunteers and stadium stewards undergo training to help ensure discrimination-free environment at Russia 2018

The final preparations continue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, and in only three months’ time, this huge international event will unite millions of fans from over 200 countries around the world. With the aim to ensure a friendly atmosphere for all supporters attending the tournament, organisers have been working consistently on ensuring a discrimination-free environment, with specific training taking place last week for two of the main groups that will have direct contact with the fans – the volunteers and stewards.

During a workshop in Sochi, the heads of the World Cup Volunteer Centres, stadium security coordinators, and trainers of stadium stewards underwent an interactive course on how to properly communicate with guests and participants at the tournament in a manner free of any racism or other forms of discrimination. They, in turn, are now qualified to guide volunteers and match observers in this sensitive issue, while the latter groups will have their own dedicated training programmes as well.

“One of our key objectives for the 2018 FIFA World Cup is to ensure that there is no discrimination and that everyone can fully enjoy an inclusive experience,” said FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Diversity, Federico Addiechi. “To achieve this, we have been implementing a number of actions, one of them being the diversity training for our staff, volunteers, and stewards. They will all be taking care of our spectators, and this specific training will provide them with the necessary tools to contribute to making the event memorable for everyone.”

The workshop is part of the wider Football without discrimination project, which aims to create a zero-tolerance attitude to discrimination, not only among those involved in the FIFA World Cup preparations, but everyone in the country. FIFA and the LOC are working on this objective side-by-side with the Federal Research and Methodological Centre of Psychology and Education in Tolerance in Russia. This organisation has tasked itself with developing and providing training courses on how to create an environment free of any form of discrimination.

The collaboration was launched on 16 November last year to coincide with the International Day of Tolerance, when a special lesson on Football without discrimination was held in schools throughout Russia.

As part of the efforts to ensure a discrimination-free atmosphere, an anti-discrimination monitoring system and a three-step procedure in case of incidents were successfully implemented during qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup and at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017. Furthermore, FIFA has continued with its campaigns and keeping its Member Associations, teams, and officials informed in the fight against discrimination, as well as offering other communication campaigns.

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