FC Barcelona and the Voice of Youth against Racism

© UNESCO/ Forbes, Inez

Agreement

Since 2007, FC Barcelona and UNESCO have affirmed their common commitment to sensitize especially the youth and the children on the role of education and sport in the development, dialogue and mutual understanding and social cohesion.

Sport is a mean to fight against racism discrimination and violence. It brings together individuals despite social, cultural or ethnical differences. Sport creates a universal language and transmits essential values such as tolerance, respect, solidarity.

Project

UNESCO, FC Barcelona and the European Coalition of Cities against Racism, in cooperation with the European Parliament, launched a project on racism and sport.

Its aim is to provide local authorities with practical recommendations to fight against discrimination through sport. Young people, who are the central actors of the project, reflected on the role of sport in eliminating racism and discrimination. Hence they launched the "Voice of Youth against racism». On 6 November 2008, they presented a document to the European Parliament including 10 recommendations of how to counter racism in sport and through sport.

© UNESCO/ Jasmina Sopova

First results

The very first of these recommendations "To include anti-racist and anti-discriminatory clauses in contracts signed with professional athletes" will soon become a reality. An important step in this direction has been made with the signature of the Declaration of the European Clubs Association (ECA), to promote introducing such clauses in the contracts of professional football players.

Considering the number of racist and discrimination incidents that happened and continue to interrupt football matches through Europe, this signature stands for a concrete advancement to counter this sad tendency. If we take into account their role as a model for the audience, youth and non-professional athletes, football players are key actors to eradicate racism in sport and should therefore display exemplary behaviour. This clause might become an efficient tool to spread this positive behaviour.

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