Speaking at the opening ceremony of the first national seminar on security and integrity in football, held in Canillas, Madrid, Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish League of Professional Football (LFP), reinforced the league’s commitment to develop preventive strategies to help tackle both physical and verbal abuse.
“The LFP is pledging to work closely with the police to prevent racism, xenophobia and intolerance”, said the LFP president.
“Discriminatory chanting, gestures and taunts are a crime and a disguised form of violence.
“The LFP is committed to develop awareness-raising campaigns and to invest in training on the subject. We need to foster respect, diversity and equality, starting with grassroots football” added Tebas.
To further the league’s anti-discrimination work, the LFP integrity department will regularly meets all 42 professional clubs, in the Spanish first and second divisions, to ensure the new preventive measures are being followed.
Addressing the most recurrent discriminatory chants in Spanish football, Miguel Cardenal, president of the Spanish sports governmental body Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD), said: “There are several expressions that are not acceptable. These chants, regarding one’s nationality or ability, are extremely serious and damaging.”
“We will only be able to effectively eradicate verbal abuse from the moment it starts to be systematically reported and included in match reports.”
Drawing a common strategy to tackle discrimination
Earlier in June, Fare members in Spain, CSD and the Asociación de Futbolistas Españoles (AFE), came together for a roundtable in Madrid to analyse racism and discrimination in stadiums after a series of high profile incidents, including the banana thrown at Barcelona defender Daniel Alves.
The meeting looked to set out a commonly agreed strategy to be replicated across the country at grassroots level.