An Anti-racism Clause in Athletes’ Contracts

In 2009, the European Club Association (ECA), following an invitation by FC Barcelona and UNESCO, signed, on behalf of its 144 members, a Declaration promoting the inclusion of anti-discrimination and anti-racism clauses in new contracts with football players.

ECA, FC Barcelona and UNESCO explained the objectives of this new commitment at a press conference held on 8 July 2009.

Lilian Thuram, former football player and anti-racism activist, affirmed “I believe the signature of this declaration will count in the future. You have the courage to go further than football, the courage to make society better”.

The clause states: “The player will not express nor carry out, in any form, discriminatory ideas or acts, either during football games or during any other functions related to the club. The club will strongly condemn any discriminatory or racist act under the terms of the agreement”.

In May 2010, David Villa was the first new FC Barcelona player to sign a contract that included this clause.

The inclusion of such clauses in athletes’ contracts was one of recommendations of the first joint UNESCO/FC Barcelona project on “Youth Voices against Racism”.

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