The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is all set to launch a programme that will help the European football governing body combat online racist abuse of players. UEFA will work with social media companies under this program to remove harmful content from platforms and raise awareness, it said on Sunday.
The new programme will kick off at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 in England on 6 July including the Real Scars campaign. The campaign will highlight the devastating effects of online abuse directed at football players, coaches, and officials across social media platforms and educate them on how to best defend themselves against such abuse.
UEFA said that it will also launch a platform that will “actively monitor, report and remedy cases of online abuse”. An outraged documentary series featuring Jorginho, Wendie Renard, and Alisha Lehmann, all of whom have suffered or witnessed abuse online. The video will be shown online and on the giant screen at all UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 matches. The campaign will also be featured on perimeter boards and in match programs during the tournament.
The documentary series will also feature Crystal Palace FC manager Patrick Vieira, former footballer and sports journalist Karen Carney, and Jesús Tomillero Benavente, the Spanish referee who retired due to online abuse.
Michele Uva, UEFA’s Director of Football and Social Responsibility spoke on the occasion and said that they are excited to start this program that will educate and make people aware of online abuse.
“UEFA wants to tackle online abuse by inspiring, activating, and accelerating concrete action across European football. We are excited to kick off a dedicated programme at the UEFA Women’s EURO, aiming to create awareness, provide education, and monitor and report online abuse across all future UEFA competition finals,” said Uva.
“We cannot accept any form of abuse and discrimination in football. It is time for concrete actions to stop online abuse. This is a long-term programme through which we will leverage a new moderation technology across all key platforms. Shortly, we will also launch an Outraged documentary series, which will be focused on increasing attention on education to create awareness on the importance of this topic and to prevent abuse from happening,” he added.