Diversity in football is something to be celebrated every day, everywhere, and when the FIFA World Cup™ comes around, there is an opportunity to amplify that message to all corners of the globe.
Coinciding with the kick-off of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ on 14 June, the Fare Network opened a Diversity House in Moscow, where fans can celebrate diversity and explore the history, people and movements that are creating change. The House includes exhibitions on diversity in football and is set to screen matches, while also providing a space for meetings, panel discussions and other activities on the theme of diversity and inclusion.
“There can be no football without diversity,” said Fare’s Director Piara Powar at the official opening of the Diversity House in Moscow.
“What we want is to celebrate diversity and offer a space for visiting fans. If you love football, and you believe football can be a force for change, you know that this World Cup in Russia will be a very interesting World Cup.”
Several key voices in the promotion of diversity and the fight against discrimination attended the opening event in Moscow. They included Moya Dodd, Karina LeBlanc, Jason Roberts, the Russian Football Union’s anti-discrimination officer Alexey Smertin, as well as FIFA’s Head of Diversity Federico Addiechi, Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Bareman and Chief Member Associations Officer Joyce Cook.
The initiative is part of a wider effort by FIFA and key stakeholders to fight all forms of discrimination and promote diversity in football.
“We are delighted to see that the Fare Network has set up their Diversity House in Moscow, as it offers local and visiting fans a dedicated space to celebrate diversity during the 2018 FIFA World Cup™,” said Addiechi.
“To be successful in promoting diversity and putting anti-discrimination procedures into practice in global football, we need support from all stakeholders within the game and across civil society.”
Good progress has been made in recent years, as FIFA has worked closely with the Local Organising Committee, the Fare Network and other partners to strengthen and expand measures on anti-discrimination.
This year’s World Cup will break new ground, with the introduction of a new protocol to handle incidents during each match and extensive training given to all involved personnel on anti-discrimination. While experienced anti-discrimination observers are deployed in the stadiums, referees are also now able to intervene following a three-step process.