Human rights experts meet in Costa Rica for Observer training27 April 2016


Held in San José, Costa Rica, the training was targeted at representatives of civil society organisations from within the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACF) region. Specialists from Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States attended.

Drawing on their expertise on human rights and anti-discrimination, the participants shared information on issues specific to their own countries and received training on how to identify and report discriminatory incidents at football matches.

Opportunities for using football as a platform to address discrimination were also a significant part of the agenda.

A representative of the Mexican LGBT sports organisation DIDESEX said: “DIDESEX is committed to support initiatives that promote positive models of inclusion and on this occasion we are very happy to participate in the Fare Observer training.

“We hope to gain knowledge and add value to the project by sharing our experience in addressing discrimination in sport.”

Participants from countries in the South American football confederation CONMEBOL, representing Argentina and Paraguay, were also invited to attend the San José training as part of a continuous updating on expertise for the FIFA 2018 qualifiers.

In March 2015, Fare and FIFA signed an agreement to implement a global monitoring system to raise awareness of discriminatory behaviour in football ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Over 40 observers across North, Central and South America have now been trained to monitor discriminatory behaviour at FIFA 2018 qualifying matches since its launch. The first training took place in September 2015, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Training sessions in Africa, Asia and Oceania will follow over the coming months.

A global project pool for NGOs looking to tackle discrimination in football will be opened in Latin America shortly. This will follow agreements to fund small scale projects in countries across FIFA confederations over the coming months.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 12: Guests attend the Fare 2015 Conference at Camp Nou on June 12, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images