The semi-finals of the Women's world cup in Germany will be used as the platform for the tenth FIFA Anti-Discrimination day on Wednesday (13).
The annual event is designed for FIFA to send out a a clear statement to millions of people around the world about football’s united stance against any kind of discrimination, be it racism, homophobia or discrimination on account of gender, ethnic origin, religion, or any other reason.
France take on USA at Monchengladbach and Japan play Sweden at Frankfurt in the final four stage and both matches will be dedicated to the fight against social injustice.
Prior to kick-off, the two team captains at each semi-final will read a declaration to encourage players, officials and fans around the world to say ”no” to any form of discrimination, not only in football but also in society in general.
Both teams and the match officials will also jointly pose with a banner displaying the unequivocal “Say no to Racism” message as part of the official match protocol.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that football should be used as a vehicle to educate people about key values such as fair play and respect.
“Football is a mirror of society, which means that unfortunately our game is still blighted by discrimination and intolerance,” said Blatter.
“We must use our game to educate people, especially the world’s youth, about the importance of fair play and respect. These values should be upheld both on, and off the pitch.
“It is 2011, and we are all responsible to protect our game and ensure that any form of discrimination is shown the red card.”
FIFA believe their Anti-Discrimination Day provides an opportunity to unite the football family and speak out against all types of discrimination in society. It is also a chance for people to spread the message to be used throughout the year.
FIFA’s stance against discrimination is embedded in its Statutes (Article 3 – Non-discrimination and stance against racism, which states that discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or groups of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, politics or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by suspension or expulsion) as well as in the FIFA Code of Ethics (Article 7) and the FIFA Disciplinary Code (Article 58).
FIFA marked its first Anti-Discrimination Day on 7 July 2002, following a resolution against discrimination passed at the FIFA Congress in Buenos Aires in 2001.