FIFA introduces anti-discrimination monitoring for World Cup qualifiers
FIFA will introduce a new anti-discrimination monitoring system for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
In an effort to crack down on discrimination within the game, the system includes the deployment of match observers at each game to monitor and report incidents. Observers will turn in match reports within 24 hours of each match. The effort will be coordinated by FIFA in collaboration with the Fare network.
“I’m very happy to see this programme taking shape and being rolled out first for the 2018 qualifiers," FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in a release. "The FIFA Congress passed a strong resolution against discrimination in 2013 and we created a dedicated Task Force. The new monitoring system is a very concrete measure in order to ensure that football sends a clear message for diversity and against any form of discrimination."
The initiative comes at the recommendation of FIFA's Task Force against Racism and Discrimination. The goal, per FIFA's release, is 'to optimise legal procedures by providing much needed evidence leading to potential sanctions.'
Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure helped present the initiative Tuesday, sitting on a panel at London's Wembley Stadium. The Ivory Coast native and national team captain has been outspoken against discrimination, serving as a consultant on FIFA's task force. Toure spoke with FIFA.com to discuss discrimination and the value of the new system.
“To be involved is an important thing I want to be a part of,” Toure told FIFA.com. “I have been involved with a lot of things relating to discrimination and racism in football and I think now I'm the voice of the people. I want to try to give them a voice and adjust that for them so they can express these things.”
Toure discussed the discrimination he's faced in the past as a black player, and his hopes for the future of the game.
“In this sport, on the pitch or wherever else we are doing our job, it is very important people know we are human beings, we want to be treated the same way,” Toure said. “Football is about togetherness and happiness. My point of view is to show them they need to change or else there will be a radical sanction. I have full trust in FIFA. We know this is difficult but with education we hope to tell people a good way to act. We want to express ourselves, we want to enjoy life.”
The plan, according to FIFA head of sustainability Federico Addiechi, is to fine-tune and improve the system in order to have firm, tested measures for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"We will start analysing the monitoring system itself so we will have an improved system for the finals, where the idea is to have a system for every match of the World Cup," Addiechi told FIFA.com. "We have a responsibility because it is our event. The World Cup is an event that has to be for all.”
- Jeremy Woo