Corporate social responsibility in European football is the focal point of a UEFA knowledge-sharing seminar with its member national associations in Sarajevo on Thursday and Friday.

The question of corporate social responsibility is on the agenda in Sarajevo on Thursday and Friday as UEFA stages its inaugural workshop on the issue.

The seminar in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to which UEFA's 54 member national associations are invited, is being staged as part of the European body's innovative Knowledge & Information Sharing Scenario (KISS), in which knowledge and expertise on various key topics is shared across the national associations for the overall benefit of European football.

The objective of the workshop is to clearly understand the overall definition of corporate social responsibility, as well as how its global position is evolving to become an integral part of management. In recent years, corporate social responsibility has gained considerable momentum and is now emerging as a matter of course for governance. The Sarajevo gathering will look at how this relates to UEFA's member associations and European football in its entirety.

National associations and UEFA partners will be giving good practice presentations to show their work in the field of corporate social responsibility, and participants will hold group discussions in which they will seek to define the way forward.

UEFA makes use of football's immense social standing and its role as European football's governing body, plus the various high-profile European competitions and tournaments, to pursue a variety of social responsibility projects which highlight specific social issues that affect the game and the social platform on which it is played. It has entered into various core and associated partnerships with stakeholders, and provides important support to them in transmitting and emphasising a variety of messages.

Among the social responsibility areas that UEFA engages in are the campaign to banish racism from football, promotion of a healthy lifestyle through playing the game, the integration of disabled people in football, grassroots programmes that give children living in divided communities the chance to play football, and global environmental protection projects. In addition, UEFA has gained widespread recognition for its Respect initiative, in particular through the promotion of tolerance and intercultural dialogue and celebrating diversity in football.

The UEFA KISS scheme was launched in 2005, and more than 100 workshops have been held in which the national associations have come together to transmit ideas, information, good practices and skills knowledge in areas such as administration and management, television and internet rights, promotion of football events, management of supporters' clubs, stewarding and security, new ticketing strategies, partnerships with sponsors, and relations with the media. Corporate social responsibility now joins the extensive KISS portfolio with the discussions in Sarajevo.

A version of this article is also available in Russian.

Published 04/10/2012