TACKLE Racism in Grassroots Football

Tackle Racism is an Erasmus+ project that aims to combat racism and xenophobia in football, by empowering coaches and managers of grassroots football to become agents of inclusion.

Grant Agreement Number: 622561-EPP-1-2020-1-CY-SPO-SCP

Funded by: Erasmus+ Duration: 01/01/2021 – 31/12/2022

  


Challenge

In recent years, a steadily growing number of initiatives around Europe aiming to combat racism in sport can be observed. However, the vast majority of these initiatives mainly focus on professional sport and football and not amateur football (including youth football) where similar incidents also appear.

Moreover, it is noted that players themselves often use racist discourse among themselves to provoke their opponents. Unfortunately, racism is making a resurgence around Europe and football represents another field where it is being expressed, witnessed and felt. The need to address racism and xenophobia in football, mostly at the grassroots level, where there is limited coverage and support for the players, coaches and fans involved, is urgent. Indeed, the existence of racism and discrimination in football is not a secret, but it remains underreported and more effective measures are needed.

Football, as the most popular sport, can act as driving force for community, transcending social or ethnic divisions. Within this context, grassroots football and local football clubs should provide a safe place, where everybody comes together behind a common sense, a common goal. To achieve this, football coaches and managers in grassroots football should be able to proactively manage and prevent racism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance.

Innovation

Tackle aims at combatting racism and xenophobia in football, mostly in grassroots football, by directly empowering people working at the forefront of football, staff, coaches and trainers of grassroots football to become agents of inclusion. To achieve this, Tackle ensures that the values of diversity and respect are embedded in their trainings, their interactions with their players and opponents as well as the operation of the clubs or teams they are involved in.

Action

An extensive desk review and field research (interviews/focus groups with football coaches, managers) aims to identify existing gaps, challenges and effective practices and approaches to tackle racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance in grassroots football.  

National and transnationals reports will be prepared to present the existing situation and the views of stakeholders, managers and coaches active in the corresponding field.

The training curriculum aims to better equip football coaches and trainers in order to identify and combat racism and xenophobia incidents in grassroots football. The main pillars of the curriculum are a theoretical and a practical approach.

The theoretical approach includes content such as diversity, values and principles of football, the moral significance of football, how football bridges differences by bringing people together, etc. The practical approach demonstrates exercises for improving coaches’ skills in working in diverse groups of footballers and addressing or mitigating incidents of racism etc.

The toolkit includes best practices to tackle racism in youth/amateur football and aims to support football coaches and managers in combatting racial and xenophobic incidents at the grassroots level. They can use them to design and undertake educational activities and teaching exercises to educate their players on the issues and instil an anti-racist philosophy in their team and the grassroots football club they work in.

The toolkit will be utilising concepts and principles such as non-formal education and sports psychology to develop educational resources that coaches and trainers working in grassroots and youth football can use to design and undertake educational activities and teaching exercises to educate their players and instil an anti-racist philosophy in their team and the grassroots football club they work in.

An e-Learning platform will be developed to serve as a space for information on the field and instant access to the full suite of the material and digital learning resources.  The platform will also include a news section that will be regularly updated with information and news about TACKLE.

Erasmus+ logo

European  Commission’s support for the production of this content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
CARDET logo
CARDET – (Project Coordinator)
Cyprus
UEFA Foundation for Children
Switzerland
Fare Network
Netherlands
Institute of Development
Cyprus
Spectrum Research Centre
Ireland
Universitatea Din Pitesti
Romania

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