Approach against discrimination
‘Our football belongs to everyone – together we will sideline racism and discrimination.’ With this attack plan, which was put in place in February 2020, we stand for an effective approach to racism and discrimination for all of football. We are building on existing knowledge and experience, developing new initiatives and technology and expanding the number of measures.
Millions of Dutch people enjoy football every week: in the stands, along the line or on the field. Football connects people. We experience it together. From pupils to the senior team, and from recreational to professional footballers. Talent and passion for football know no colour, age or background. The football field is where Ahmad, Frenkie and Vivianne meet. Unfortunately, that’s not the full picture.
On 17 November 2019, it became painfully clear that discrimination still spoils the fun of the game for many. The racist remarks against Excelsior player Mendes Moreira, during the match between FC Den Bosch and Excelsior, have forced us to face the facts. It cannot go on like this: racism exists and people are not afraid to express it. We do not want to give this group of people a place in the unifying world that football offers.
We have a three-pronged approach, consisting of (1) prevention (2) detection and (3) sanctioning:
1) Prevention: The vast majority of people in our society are not out to deliberately hurt others. In such cases, education, dialogue and awareness-raising can positively change behaviour. So this is a very important component, especially if good examples are given a platform.
- Training programme for clubs
- Educating officials and staff
- Fair Play processes
2) Detection: Sometimes it’s very difficult to detect racism and discrimination in the stands or on one of the amateur fields. It’s often difficult to prove (legally) who is guilty of this. Reports, clues, hard evidence but also personal data are needed to take action against those who exceed the norm, and this is also being invested in.
- Security at football complexes
- Reporting app
- Expansion of arbitration reporting tool
- Smart technology challenge
3) Sanctioning: Perpetrators must be dealt with. Therefore, those who are guilty of racism and discrimination are strictly dealt with. This will be done in every legally possible way. There is also a strong focus on punishments that lead to greater awareness and a change in behaviour.
- Personalised approach
- Increasing knowledge about the possibilities of punishment
- Public prosecutor’s punishment
- (Digital) reporting obligation
- Strengthening of the Royal Dutch Football Association’s disciplinary law
- Special prosecutor
- Adjustment of competition handbook and stadium ban guidelines
- Chant project