UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin and European Parliament President David Sassoli met by videoconference today and highlighted how European football plays an important role in Europe’s recovery and the achievement of social and societal objectives. They committed UEFA and the European Parliament to work together to promote inclusion and safeguard solidarity in European football.
“From promoting values in education of young people, to promoting equality and diversity and fighting all forms of discrimination, UEFA and the European Parliament have a longstanding shared vision of European football as a force for good” underlined the President of UEFA. The joint discussion also focussed on the need for sea change in the fight against racism. UEFA and the EU will work together relentlessly under the EU’s Anti-racism Action Plan 2020-2025.
President Sassoli stressed the importance of football in boosting inclusion and tackling prejudice. “Europe is united in diversity but also in its love of football. It brings people together from different backgrounds and unites communities – something we need more than ever as we rebuild after COVID-19. The European Parliament is committed to the fight against racism and will work closely with UEFA on projects to tackle prejudice and boost inclusion.”
The two leaders agreed that, like the European Union, European football must build inclusive prosperity and long-term sustainability, with Mr Čeferin adding that “UEFA ensures that the commercial success of European football is redistributed and reinvested into the game and society – from the strengthening of women’s football and the construction of pitches for local communities to ground-breaking social responsibility projects. We must not overlook what this crisis has taught us about the importance of continuing to build a model of sports that promotes football for the enjoyment of all, rather than the profit of the few.”
President Sassoli added – “This has been one of the most difficult years for football in Europe. Players have seen their leagues cancelled or postponed and fans have been unable to attend matches in person. As normality slowly returns, we need to protect the European model of sport, one based on solidarity, the involvement of fans and the strengthening of communities who share a love of football and the values of sport. This contributes to a common European feeling. UEFA has an essential role to play in protecting the integrity of the game and ensuring it benefits Europe as a whole.”
“Whilst COVID-19 has temporarily postponed our plans to celebrate 60 years of EURO with a tournament bridging the entire continent, UEFA is doing all it can to ensure that football continues to spread joy and promote values to hundreds of millions of people across the EU,” confirmed Mr Čeferin.
Football is indeed the European game and the European Parliament will look to UEFA for support in engaging people of all backgrounds, from all over the continent, across all channels, in the Conference on the Future of Europe. The organisations will – together with the European Commission and Member States – discuss how European football can partner in this important pan-European initiative.