Football People call to reach tens of thousands across Europe
Over the next two weeks more than 2,000 activities will be held across Europe as part of a message against discrimination and exclusion in football led by the Fare network.
In Europe and beyond, fans, minority groups, human rights campaigners, schools and professional football, will come together in celebration of football’s contribution to multi-ethnic and diverse societies to declare themselves ‘Football People’.
Leading players such as Didier Drogba, Andrea Pirlo and André Schürrle have declared their support for the campaign.
At a grassroots level, an unprecedented number of applications were submitted to Fare to fund activities during the period, which resulted in around 300 grants awarded to support film festivals, debates and conferences, stadium choreographies by fans and educational events.
The weeks are the largest series of anti-discrimination interventions in European sport. This year’s activities will focus on issues such as the rise of the far-right in Europe, the situation of refugees and asylum seekers and LGBT rights in Eastern Europe.
UEFA, as Europe’s football governing body, is lending its support to the campaign by highlighting it at forthcoming Champions and Europa League fixtures, Euro 2016 qualifiers and centralised friendlies.
Fare Executive Director Piara Powar said: “Every year, the Fare action weeks bring people together to stand against discrimination. The impact of this is unique because people see and experience how a mainstream sport such as football, can be such an effective means of spreading messages of inclusion, equality and respect.”