Kick-off for 'International Weeks Against Racism'
During the 'International Weeks Against Racism' (20 March - 2 April) and particularly around Matchday 26 of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, the DFL, DFL Stiftung and the 36 professional clubs will come together to make a clear statement against racism and racial discrimination. The message 'STOP RACISM' will be visible in all stadiums hosting matches, as well as during broadcasts by media partners and on digital communication channels.
Since 2016, the 'International Weeks Against Racism' have been coordinated in Germany by the anti-racism foundation Stiftung gegen Rassismus, and support from German professional football comes in various forms.
For Matchday 26 (31 March - 2 April), clubs with home matches in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 will be provided with a special ball stand featuring the 'STOP RACISM' logo, designed by the DFL. In coordination with partner DERBYSTAR, the official match ball, which is displayed on the stand when the teams walk onto the pitch, will also feature the logo. Depending on the club, additional signs of solidarity, such as walk-on shirts or shoelaces in the campaign colour 'Signal Violet' will also be used.
To better reach spectators watching via screens, national and international media partners of the DFL have also announced their support for the campaign. Calls to action from the DFL, the DFL Foundation and the professional clubs via the various digital communication channels will accompany the various measures throughout the communication period – in some cases with bigger events. The logo and the signal colour will also be integrated into the final of the Virtual Bundesliga Club Championship eFootball competition in Cologne on 25-26 March.
An overview of German professional football’s involvement in the campaign will be provided at bundesliga-wirkt.dfl.de/IWgR23 (in German).
The 'International Weeks Against Racism' stem from an initiative of the United Nations. Two weeks around the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March) have been chosen as the period for the campaign, in which Stiftung gegen Rassismus calls on everyone in German society to take a stand against racism and discrimination.
Moritz Glenk, project manager at Stiftung gegen Rassismus, spoke in a 2022 interview on dfl.de (in German) about the development and background of the two-week campaign, and about the relevance and role of professional football. Among other things, Glenk said: “With its broad appeal, professional football has the ability to reach lots of people and to make clear that we as a society stand against racism and will not tolerate racist behaviour. It is incredibly important and useful that professional football can take the lead as a role model, appealing to people who we as a foundation cannot reach.”
Far beyond this year’s campaign matchday, German professional football is involved in various ways in the fight against racism and racial discrimination, as highlighted by the following examples from the DFL and the DFL Foundation. The professional clubs also carry out numerous initiatives and projects of their own.
'Anti-discrimination and diversity' conference series
Together with the DFB, the DFL hosts the 'Anti-discrimination and diversity' conference series, which has discussed the discrimination of various demographic groups since 2014. The DFL and DFB’s fundamental goal is to address the latest issues regarding diversity and inclusion, to raise awareness of them and to promote diversity in football and among fans.
Project funding from PFiFF
In 2014, the DFL established the Pool for the Promotion of Innovative Football and Fan Culture (PFiFF). Since then, it has also supported numerous projects aimed at promoting tolerance, anti-discrimination, inclusion/integration and intercultural exchange. From the start, PFiFF has been provided with academic support from the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. Further information about the funding criteria and guidelines as well as examples of projects can be found at go.dfl.de/PFIFF.
Kids’ clubs and youth clubs
Since 1995, (experience-based) educational work with children and young people has been a central component of all kids’ clubs. As part of the project, children are not only living their passion for football, they are also being taught about social issues and challenges, such as dealing with racism. Today, more than 180,000 children attend a total of 34 kids’ clubs and 14 youth clubs run by clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. The DFL coordinates the network of people responsible for kids’ and youth clubs and has developed overarching approaches and quality standards in close cooperation with a club working group.
Since 2009, the stadiums of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs have also been used as learning venues. The 'Classroom Stadium' programme is funded and closely supervised by the DFL Foundation and offers a basic and understandable introduction into political education for young people. Now with 25 learning venues, the extracurricular offering has reached more than 90,000 young people since it began.
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