‘No respect no game': UNESCO and PRISA Radio join forces to end racism and discrimination in football

24 January 2017

UNESCO and PRISA RADIO presented the 'No respect no game' [Sin respeto no hay juego] campaign of Cadena SER, an initiative that aims to combat racism and discrimination in football, on 24 January 2017. The campaign, launched within the framework of the cooperation agreement between the Spanish PRISA communication group and UNESCO, builds on the conclusions and recommendations of 2015 UNESCO report "Colour? What colour?".

The presentation ceremony took place at the Museo del Traje in Madrid (Spain) and was attended by Juan Luis Cebrián, Executive Chairman of the PRISA Group, Nada Al-Nashif, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Andrea Agnelli , President of Juventus FC, Florentino Pérez, President of Real Madrid CF, and Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of FC Barcelona. The journalist and director of the radio program Carrusel Deportivo, Dani Garrido, was in charge of presenting the event.

The purpose of the campaign, which will be carried out during the first half of 2017, is to send a clear and simple message to society: no respect no football. The aim is to do everything possible to kick racist, xenophobic, macho or homophobic behaviours and attitudes off the pitch. In the words of the journalist Manu Carreño, the public has to understand that "buying a ticket for a match does not give the right to insult or threaten."

Juan Luis Cebrián opened the event by highlighting the importance of the agreement between the PRISA group and UNESCO, and recalling that football is a very powerful tool to reach a broad sector of society. "We want to stir public opinion and awareness to instill principles of tolerance," he said.

UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Nada Al-Nashif, noted that "The symbolic power of sport and its universally respected codes are one of the most if not the most effective vehicle for fighting inequality and promoting diversity and tolerance in society." For Nada Al-Nashif, "the fight against racism in sport should not be optional. This is why it is so important that this initiative has had the support of three of the most prestigious football clubs in the world today." In addition, Nada Al-Nashif had words of gratitude to Juventus FC, which has been a precursor club in this initiative and started partnering with UNESCO three years ago.

Andrea Agnelli, President of the Italian team, stressed the importance of involving the public. "For people to follow us, we must first give a positive example. Being here today is very important because with the support of all, it will be easier to say no to racism and favor inclusion and respect," he concluded.

The President of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, defined the fight against racism and discrimination as a "fundamental cause" and an "irrevocable goal in the history of football." Florentino Pérez congratulated UNESCO and the PRISA group for this new campaign and said: "This is the time to use the strength of football to expel intolerant and racist behavior."  

Josep Maria Bartomeu, President of FC Barcelona, reiterated the commitment of his club to the fight against racism and discrimination and the importance of achieving a more tolerant sport and world. Citing former player Liliam Thuram, Bartomeu said: "One is not born racist, but one becomes one. This is why it is fundamental to support initiatives like 'No respect no game'."

The presentation of this campaign concluded with a round table moderated by Manu Carreño, Director of the radio program El Larguero, which gathered José Ramón Lete, President of the Spanish National Sports Council and Secretary of State for Sport; Luis Rubiales, President of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE); Lola Romero, Director of Atlético de Madrid Féminas; Vicente del Bosque, former Spanish coach; Michael Robinson, journalist and former football player; and, Marcos Senna, former player and current head of Institutional Relations at the Villarreal Football Club.