Rosario Central of Argentina show the way in dealing with gender-based violence among players after incident outside bar14 February 2018

ProfessionalclubAtléticoRosarioCentralisleadingthewayonissuesofgenderandinclusioninArgentina.Earlierthismonththeclubheldatalkongender-basedviolence directedattheirprofessionalplayers,whichfollowsaseriesofpositiveactionsbeganonthetopic in2017.

The 40-minute long talk, a first among professional teams in Argentina, focused on exploring the concepts of gender equality, gender-based violence and discrimination and was led by the Rosario’s Women’s Institute.

Pablo Bufarini, the club’s Head of Communications, said: “We have been working on the topic with our youth players, so it is important that our professional players are also involved in this process and understand the club’s role on social responsibility and values.”

The talk came days after a video emerged of the club’s player Fernando Tobio verbally and physically abusing a woman outside a bar in Rosario.

The club reacted to the incident by condemning it and addressed the city’s leading women’s organisation to work together in preventive actions. It also issued a fine to the player. The money will be used to run activities aimed at addressing the issue and promote awareness and education among the club’s youth players.

Argentina has one of the world’s highest rates of femicide. Activists say that the urge to commit violence comes from a culture of machismo.

Lilian Diotati of the city’s Women’s Institute said: “A football team has a very important role in society, its visibility is big, and players are seen as role models to young boys and girls. Talking about these issues that are so common will have a positive impact.”

Rosario Central’s progressive approach comes after the creation of a dedicated working group on women’s issues within its structures.

In September 2017, the club held a discussion on the role of professional clubs in tackling discrimination and gender-based violence in partnership with the national fan organisation Coordinadora Nacional de Hinchas and Arroyito to over 50 people.