12/05 14:10 CST European soccer body UEFA pledges at UN to do more to promote
human rights and fight discrimination
European soccer body UEFA pledges at UN to do more to promote human rights and
By GRAHAM DUNBAR
AP Sports Writer
GENEVA (AP) --- European soccer body UEFA went to the United Nations on Tuesday
pledging to do more to promote human rights and protect women from abuse in the
At Champions League games next week, messages will be broadcast on television
and social media for the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis said at a sports conference
in the UN's European headquarters.
Theodoridis committed UEFA to "strengthen our fight against discriminations in
all their forms" and "admitting your mistakes when you make them."
"This shows leading by example," he said, citing UEFA ordering a security
review of the chaotic and poorly policed 2022 Champions League final it
organized in Paris that put Liverpool and Real Madrid fans at risk.
"It was a near-miss, I have to say," Theodoridis acknowledged. UEFA now
consults more closely with the fan group Football Supporters Europe ahead of
The event Tuesday was hosted by the Geneva-based Centre for Sport & Human
Rights, UEFA's risk adviser for the 2024 European Championship in men's soccer
which it wants to be inclusive and tackle discrimination.
"Human rights should be inherent in everything we do," Theodoridis said, "in
how we treat people and how we listen to them and how do we deliver on our
mission in a way that respects and upholds the fundamental dignity of all
UEFA made a joint human rights declaration in Berlin last month with German
organizers of Euro 2024 that included a promise that all fans can "exercise
their freedom of speech during the tournament."
At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, fans wearing or carrying rainbow symbols in
support of the LGBTQ community became a cultural flashpoint in the conservative
Theodoridis said the commitment of Euro 2024 organizers to deliver an inclusive
tournament would be shared at all levels including thousands of volunteers.
"We will also work to make sure that the rapid growth in the women's game is
joined by greater efforts to prevent harassment, abuse and violence against
women," he told delegates at the UN.
In September, Luis Rubiales resigned as both president of the Spanish soccer
federation and a vice president of UEFA three weeks after he forcibly kissed
national-team player Jenni Hermoso on the lips at the Women's World Cup trophy
presentation. World soccer body FIFA later suspended Rubiales from soccer for
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