Come together - action plan against racism and discrimination!
Amp Football Belgium vzw supports the new action plan of KBVB, Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF! Say no to racism and discrimination!
you can find the news item from the website of Voetbal Vlaanderen here:
KBVB, Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF together with a group of 20 representatives from football and with diverse backgrounds have set up a new action plan against racism and discrimination in the past months. They unanimously agree it is the foundation to battle racism and discrimination .
At organisations such as KBVB there are new roles added to the action plan such as inclusion manager, a new diversity board and a National Chambre for Discrimination and Racism. It has the goal to make reports of raciscm and discrimination more accessible on all levels. Voetbal Vlaanderen strives for "Ethics, always and everywhere", and manages since 2018 the contact point to be able to battle unethical practices that happen on and off the field and in the club. There won't be a new contact point with this action plan, but we want to highlight and emphasise the importance of reports of raciscm and discrimination.
Are you or have you been a victim/witness of discrimination during a football training, match or event??
Football should be a festivity for everybody and at any moment. Exclusion on the base of the color of your skin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental capabilities or other differences don't belong on or off the field. Racism however is a deeply rooted problem in society and unforunately it also displays its ugliness in football. To battle racism and discrimination in the coming years, together with Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF we listened to 20 representatives with diverse backgrounds who each with their own experiences are involved with Belgian football.
“Go to any random football match on a saturday and you will see that the team on the field is a good reflection of our society. Few sports are as inclusive as football. Unfortunately racism is still present on and off the football fields. But also within our own organization there is lots of work to be done to become a display of the current society. Thats why we brought all these different people with their own backgrounds together to tell us how we can confront their problems concerning racism and discrimination. With this plan we want to show that we take this issue very seriously and that we mean business."
- Peter Bossaert, CEO KBVB
AN EXEMPLARY ROLE, ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE
Voetbal Vlaanderen wants to offer support in terms of ethics to all Flemish football clubs. We have an integrity policy, where we want to guarantee a safe and inclusive sports experience for everyone. Our football should carry the values that are so important in our society. We want to offer an ethical and correct sports climate to all members of our clubs.
Voetbal Vlaanderen has a contact point to be able to signal behaviour that isn't tolerated. An Ethical Comission will examine the files. Besides this we appoint counselors that detect unethical behaviour and help us ban this practice on and off the foootball fields.
From all conversations we distilled together with KBVB and ACFF the essence to handle the current situation. Together we want to fully commit to listen, represent, educate, measure and communicate.
WE WANT TO LISTEN
The input from the conversations are one by one topics that can't be ignored. That's why the federations will pay more attention to what goes on through the creation of the Diversity Board, a cricital soundboard for all these delicate themes for which we are currently looking for candidates. To be heard as an individual or as a club you must be able to report easily. This is possible through our contact point and through the websites (contact points) of KBVB and ACFF. The coming months we will place the contact point even more in the spotlight.
WE WANT EVERYBODY TO FEEL REPRESENTED
To get on with it straight away with questions and findings from the Diversity Board, KBVB has appointed Samia Ahrouch as the new inclusion advisor. She will execute the new action plan together with the different departments.
“I strongly believe we can work together on a positive culture that is adjusted to the reality where diversity is seen as a strength, just like our Red Devils.”
- Samia Ahrouch, inclusiemedewerker KBVB
Within Voetbal Vlaanderen we have Justine Loosveldt. She coordinates the contact point and further develops the ethical policy of Voetbal Vlaanderen arround which the necessary club support will be provided.
“We commit ourselves to create a sustainable, positive and safe football environment for our clubs and members.
- Justine Loosveldt, policy advisor Ethiek Voetbal Vlaanderen
We ourselves also want to make a difference and engage in more diversity including in terms of competence, age, gender and origin. Think of our own staff or the composition of our different commissions. That's why soon there will be appointed two new independent directors within the Raad van Bestuur of the KBVB. There are also new members with diverse backgrounds, both men and women and from different age groups, who are integrated in the national disciplinary instances and the license commission. Also within the board of Voetbal Vlaanderen new and supplementary profiles were added. Like this we strive make everybody feel represented within the operation.
WE WILL EDUCATE EVERYONE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
To ensure active involvement from everybody with the new action plan we will educate several different groups in football. All referees in amateur- and profootball, youth managers, safety managers and trainers will be educated by 2024 about the approach against racism and discrimination and how they can contribute to tackle all forms of discrimination.
WE WANT TO MEASURE AND ADJUST IF NECESSARY
To know how discrimination and racism is evolving in football, we will work together with colleges and universities to measure the effects of the new action plan. There was already the VUB-research last year about the discrimination concerning referees and currently there is a research running with KU Leuven about racism and discrimination in youth football. The results from this research are expected at the end of march 2021. We consider these studies as a must to adjust the action plan quickly and adequate where necessary.
WE WANT SUFFICIENT COMMUNICATION CONCERNING THE PLAN IN ALL ITS CAPACITIES
We commit furthermore in better and frequent communication. The full action plan and its related parts will be available on our website. But to make the action plan and its many initiatives succeed, we need to call in the help from everyone in football: the players, trainers, supporters, voluenteers, stewards, referees and everybody besides the field or in the canteen.
IF PREVENTION AND AWARENESS DON'T HELP, WE WILL ENSURE AN ADEQUATE DISCIPLINARY BODY
Who despite the prevention and sensitisation campaigns goes out of line as - player, staff- or boardmember, official or supporter - will recieve disciplinary action through the new body, the National Chambre for Discrimination and Racism. The National Chambre for Discrimination and Racism doesn't just consist of jurists but also of people with expertise concerning discrimination and will handle all cases of discrimination in pro- and amateurfootball in the future.