UNESCO launched a campaign Tuesday along with some of the world’s biggest soccer clubs to fight racism, discrimination and xenophobia in the sport in Spain and Latin America.
“Sin Respeto, No Hay Juego,” translated to “Without Respect, There is No Game,” seeks to promote the values of respect, diversity and tolerance within the world’s most popular sport.
The campaign was launched in Madrid by Nada Al-Nashif, deputy director-general of social and human sciences at UNESCO, and the presidents of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus.
The world’s biggest Spanish-language radio network, PRISA Radio and Ibero-American education organization, the Santillana Foundation also helped launch the initiative. PRISA Radio head Juan Luis Cebrián said that the campaign aimed to instill youth with “the principles of tolerance.”
As part of the launch, a roundtable took place with well-known players, coaches, administrators and journalists, including former Spain national team coach Vicente del Bosque and Brazilian-born Marcos Senna, who played for Spain in the 2006 World Cup.
Del Bosque said that “racism is a problem more of society than of football,” and Senna spoke of his personal experiences with racism.
"Sin Respeto, No Hay Juego" is based on a 2015 report by UNESCO title “Color — What Color?” which details how continued discrimination and racism within the sport is a threat to the reputation of clubs and the game as a whole.
The report explained how soccer clubs are leading stakeholders in promoting respect, diversity and tolerance and lists a number of “best practice” models from around the world.