CAFE Managing Director Joyce Cook OBE has been appointed to the jury of the first ever FIFA Diversity Award. 

With the aim of recognising an outstanding organisation, group initiative or personality that is standing up for diversity and anti-discrimination in football, FIFA will inaugurate the FIFA Diversity Award in July 2016. The date will also mark the 15th anniversary of the passing of the resolution against racism and discrimination at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Buenos Aires in 2001. 

Joyce Cook, an expert on accessibility and inclusion for disabled people in sports, joins a prestigious “11 for Diversity” jury that includes Moya Dodd, Tokyo Sexwale, Jaliyah Saelua, Gerald Asamoah, Piara Powar, Abby Wambach, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Clarence Seedorf, Constant Omari and Alexandra Haas Paciuc. 

On being appointed, Joyce said, “Football can inspire us and it offers us a sense of well-being and of belonging too. In return, it is our job to take care of our beautiful game and to cherish the many richly diverse people within it. We have a duty to celebrate our differences and to reach out to those who are still excluded because of their colour, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, disability, faith and so on. Football belongs to each and every one of us. I am proud to be part of the FIFA Diversity Award that aims to recognise those in the game who work tirelessly to eradicate exclusion and discrimination. They are the lifeblood of our modern game”. 

The annual award is among the recommendations made in 2013 by the FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination, which are now in their implementation phase. 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said, “The FIFA Statutes are unequivocal – there is no place for any kind of discrimination in football. We have started to work with special match observers to help us punish breaches of conduct in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. However, another important element of fighting discrimination is proactive work and educational initiatives that foster and celebrate diversity in all its forms”.

Mr Infantino added, “The FIFA Diversity Award will pay tribute to those who are dedicated to that goal and, ultimately, to guaranteeing that football sticks to its core values of solidarity and fair play.

For more information about the FIFA Diversity Award, please visit

To find out more about the “11 for Diversity jury”, please visit

Published 18/05/2016