Football and Social Responsibility

Creating positive social impact through football.

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Strategic approach

UEFA's FSR strategy enhances the value of the organisation's core business while contributing to sustainable development in society.

Its strategy is based on the notion that social responsibility activities need not come at the expense of profit; rather that social responsibility is about how revenues are generated.

UEFA applies a systems approach that works in cooperation with key economic, social, financial and environmental stakeholders – inside and outside of the organisation – to promote social responsibility throughout all aspects and all levels of football.

Positioned under its pillar of Respect, UEFA's approach to FSR is continuously evolving; aiming to extend and develop social responsibility within UEFA and with national associations.

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Strategic themes

The majority of FSR work is focused on addressing key social responsibility issues – "strategic themes" – through football in close partnership with expert organisations.

The strategy is subject to a regular independent review, which is based on extensive stakeholder consultation. The final recommendations are endorsed by UEFA's Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee and take precedence over other issues during a four-year cycle.

UEFA uses the sustainable development goals (SDGs), as set out by the United Nations general assembly in 2015, as a point of orientation. In its annual FSR report (see Resources), UEFA maps the SDGs according to each strategic theme to demonstrate its contribution to global action on sustainable development.

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Diversity & Inclusion

Racism and other forms of discrimination continue to be a widespread and entrenched phenomenon in Europe. Minority groups facing these forms of intolerances, across the entire continent and in football, are persistently subject to verbal and physical violence and exclusion.

Football is a well-acknowledged tool for promoting diversity and inclusion, as supported by the United Nations, European Commission and Council of Europe agencies.

UEFA encourages an inclusive culture and practices in football. It endorses the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of each individual, while embracing differences such as ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, national origin, income or ability, etc.

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Environment

Climate change is argued to be the most important issue of our age, a threat that endangers the entire planet, and one that will likely define our generation and many to come.

UEFA places a special emphasis on promoting climate action within the scope of its competitions. It also encourages its stakeholders to place due consideration towards environmental sustainability issues that are connected with activities in and around football.

As part of its commitment to combatting climate change, UEFA was one of 17 signatories to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework. UEFA and other sport organisations have united behind this initiative and are committed to use their positions to work toward minimising the threat posed by climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement.

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Health & well-being

Two thirds of premature deaths in the European region are caused by four major non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 1 and 2 diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory disease. However, by modifying lifestyle risk factors, at least 80% of all heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancers could be prevented.

UEFA is committed to the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles, and the development of health-promoting football environments, addressing the key lifestyle risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases. This includes the promotion of regular physical activity, such as playing football, as well as healthier diet, smoke-free lifestyles and moderate alcohol consumption.

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Peace & reconciliation

Europe has been affected by several conflict situations in recent times, such as those occurring in southeastern Europe and the Caucasus.

The promotion of peace and reconciliation in post-conflict areas, among antagonistic population groups is a complicated matter that may take generations to solve. Programmes must be planned and implemented on the basis of a sound conflict analysis and according to the cultural, social, economic and political context of the conflict-affected communities.

UEFA supports activities promoting social contact and shared activities that are intrinsic to football.

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Solidarity

Solidarity can be defined as an 'outside-in' approach whereby societal issues and problems are identified and tackled by using football as the tool.

UEFA works in collaboration with key stakeholders, including NGOs and the EU, using established frameworks, such as the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to identify areas where it can make use of its resources to benefit society.

Human rights

The world of sport, including football, can have both significant positive and negative social impacts. Football can promote the respect of human rights, but it can also amplify abuse and discrimination. It is critical to ensure that European football is in full alignment with international human rights standards and related instruments and principles.

UEFA takes steps to ensure that human rights standards are upheld across all levels of operations, including competitions, in full alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

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Child safeguarding

Every day millions of children and young people take part in sporting activities across Europe. Following a rising number of sexual abuse scandals against minors (aged under 18 years old) in football, UEFA reaffirms its commitment to support and enable the safe participation of girls and boys, at all levels of the Game. Its vision is for football in Europe to be a safe, positive and enjoyable experience for all children and young people.

Through the implementation of effective policies, practices and procedures, UEFA advocates preventive actions, to mitigate the chances of harm occurring, and responsible actions, to ensure that any incidents which do happen are handled appropriately.

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Supporter relations

Football supporters' meaningful involvement plays an important role in the sustainable development of football.

UEFA is committed to ensuring that the needs and viewpoints of this key stakeholder group are taken into account across the Game. It conducts proactive and structured cooperation with supporters to improve governance as well as matchday experiences for all stakeholders.

Resources

The cover of the report - please click on links in the main text to access it
The cover of the report - please click on links in the main text to access it©UEFA.com

UEFA is pleased to announce the publication of the UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Report 2017/18. Please find interactive digital versions available in English, French and German via the following links.

This report is the first of the 2017–21 UEFA football and social responsibility (FSR) cycle. In addition to covering the 2017/18 season, this report reviews the progress made during the whole six-year period from 2012 to 2018, as well as focusing on good practices relating to UEFA's social responsibility objectives and projects with national associations and key partners.

The FSR unit has also added new strategic topics to its portfolio this season: human rights, child protection and football for refugees. These new topics are the result of a 2017 strategy review that, following extensive stakeholder consultation, highlighted the increasing relevance of these topics in European football. They also reflect UEFA's ability to adapt to a changing social, economic, and environmental landscape.

Further documentation

Equal Game conference 2019 final report
UEFA FSR Strategy Review 2017
UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Report 2017/18
UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Report 2016/17
UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Report 2015/16
UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Report 2014/15
UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Report 2013/14
UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Report 2012/13

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