The 2014 Respect Diversity Conference, organised jointly by UEFA, the FARE network and FIFPro (the world player’s union), aims to step up the fight against discrimination in European football. The conference, to take place in Rome on 10 and 11 September and hosted by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), gathers together over 200 delegates representing UEFA member associations, leagues, clubs, political and governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and minority groups, as well as relevant experts and media representatives.
The event will raise awareness of how to deal with all aspects of racism and discrimination in football with the participation of the game’s key stakeholders. UEFA President Michel Platini will open the conference with a keynote speech, followed by a panel discussion with decision-makers from politics and sport.
Speaking ahead of the event, UEFA President Michel Platini said: “At UEFA, we are committed to doing all we can to ensure diversity is respected in the world of football. Sport must embrace everyone, regardless of colour, faith, sexual orientation or political beliefs. I hope this conference, which we are organising with our partners, will encourage football leaders, coaches, players and fans to work together to stop all forms of discrimination.”
The conference will provide a platform for participants to share good practice on combating discrimination in different settings and across geographies and it will serve as a sounding board for practical solutions addressing the issue in the future.
Piara Powar, executive director of FARE, said: “We are delighted to be working with UEFA on the 2014 Respect Diversity conference. The event brings together UEFA’s 54 member associations and the FARE network to collectively examine the challenges facing us in regards to discrimination and exclusion and to set out best practices. It will influence many associations and NGOs in their future work to ensure we have a sport that has equality and inclusion as a core practice.”
The second day of the conference will consist of workshops and a players’ panel discussion with former and current professional footballers.
Tony Higgins, FIFPro Division Europe vice-president, said: “FIFPro is delighted to bring the voice of players into the discussion at the Respect Diversity conference. Professional footballers worldwide are in a unique position to help educate and inspire society to accept diversity and respect all cultures.”