The conference organised by UEFA, with the support of the Fare network and FIFPro, the world player’s union, and hosted by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), will bring together key stakeholders, with delegates representing UEFA member associations, European leagues, clubs, political and governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and minority groups.
Around 70 people from from 28 countries will form the Fare delegation to the event. The attendees will take part in the conference debates or speak in workshops.
UEFA President Michel Platini will open the conference with a keynote speech, followed by a panel discussion with decision-makers from politics and sport.
Speaking ahead of the event, UEFA President said: “At UEFA, we are committed to doing all we can to ensure diversity is respected in the world of football. Sport must embrace everyone, regardless of colour, faith, sexual orientation or political beliefs. I hope this conference, which we are organising with our partners, will encourage football leaders, coaches, players and fans to work together to stop all forms of discrimination.”
The conference will provide a platform for participants to share good practice on combating discrimination in different settings and across geographies and it will serve as a sounding board for practical solutions addressing the issue in the future.
Six workshops will take place on the second day on a series of themes that include an overview of the sanctions regime in football, tackling homophobia, working with ethnic minorities, overcoming glass ceilings, discrimination in Southern Europe and how FAs can develop action plans.
The second day of the conference will consist of a players’ panel discussion with former and current professional footballers.
Piara Powar, Executive Director of the Fare network, said: “We are delighted to be working with UEFA on the 2014 Respect Diversity conference. The event brings together UEFA’s 54 member associations and the Fare network to collectively examine the challenges facing us in regards to discrimination and exclusion and to set out best practices. It will influence many associations and NGOs in their future work to ensure we have a sport that has equality and inclusion as a core practice.”
Tony Higgins, FIFPro Division Europe vice-president, said: “FIFPro is very happy to bring the voice of players into the discussion at the Respect Diversity conference. Professional footballers worldwide are in a unique position to help educate and inspire society to accept diversity and respect all cultures.”