UEFA has revealed the first-ever winners of their FootbALL Awards, which acknowledge the efforts made towards social progress. The recipients include the Football Association of Belgium, the German Football League, Arsenal, and former French player Lilian Thuram.
These four entities have been commended by UEFA for their dedication to promoting sustainability and combating discrimination within European football.
The UEFA ‘FootbALL’ initiative, introduced during the recent Champions League final, showcases how football can have a positive impact on European communities. UEFA chose one national association, one league, one club, and one former player that exemplify the values of the programme. The Belgian FA (RBFA) was among the first national associations to develop a comprehensive strategy for football social responsibility.
The German Football League (DFL) has been commended by UEFA for their ongoing efforts to combat discrimination. They have developed programs and resources to support refugees and have established national teams for individuals with intellectual or motor disabilities. UEFA also recognized the DFL’s involvement in the International Weeks Against Racism.
Arsenal has partnered with Adidas on a program called ‘No More Red’ to protect young people from knife crime by offering safe environments and positive opportunities. They are also the first football club to incorporate British Sign Language into their home games, ensuring a certified interpreter is present at every match. Lilian Thuram, a former champion in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, has been acknowledged for his longstanding commitment to fighting racism.
“Their work showcases the importance of leading by example, which is exactly what the FootbALL programme represents,” said UEFA Director of Social & Environmental Sustainability Michele Uva.
The prizes will be given out during the 2023 UEFA RESPECT Forum, which will be held in Frankfurt, Germany, from June 28th to 29th.