FIFA is very pleased to announce today the remaining six personalities who will join the jury of the first-ever FIFA Diversity Award. The 11 members of the jury, including former football professionals and experts, have a wealth of global experience in various areas of diversity and anti-discrimination, whether related to ethnic, national or social origin, gender, disability, language, religion, political opinion, sexual orientation or any other reason.
The remaining jury members announced today, coinciding with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, include FIFA Women’s World Cup™ winner Abby Wambach, former captain of the German national team Thomas Hitzlsperger, former Dutch international Clarence Seedorf, FIFA Council member Constant Omari, Managing Director of the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) Joyce Cook and President of the Mexican National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination (CONAPRED) Alexandra Haas Paciuc. They will join the five other members that had already been announced – Moya Dodd, Tokyo Sexwale, Jaiyah Saelua, Gerald Asamoah and Piara Powar – to form a high-profile “11 for Diversity”.
“All candidates competing to win the FIFA Diversity Award are already “winners” for me, as they are all standing up to create better living conditions for minorities and people who suffer discrimination,” said four-time UEFA Champions League winner Clarence Seedorf. “As Mr Mandela said: ‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.’ We have the greatest sport in our hands that can be used as a catalyst for change to achieve the goals that Mr Mandela has mentioned and I’m sure that the first edition of the FIFA Diversity Award will motivate many individuals, groups and organisations to continue to make a difference for a better world – in football and society.”
“Discrimination has no place in football. As member of the jury, it is a particular pleasure for me to honour all those who are committed to and engage in fair play and solidarity in sport,” said Thomas Hitzlsperger.
“While discrimination in all its forms and complexity remains a barrier to the full and integrated development of human communities, football is the principal medium through which we can hope to achieve unity,” said Constant Omari. “To do this, the FIFA Diversity Award will encourage the promotion of values the spread of which will surely mitigate the consequences of this despicable practice to create a better world, one that is based on merit, equal opportunities and equal rights.
“Football can inspire us and it offers us a sense of well-being and of belonging too. In return, it is our job to take care of our beautiful game and to cherish the many richly diverse people within it,” said Joyce Cook. “We have a duty to celebrate our differences and to reach out to those who are still excluded because of their colour, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, disability, faith and so on. Football belongs to each and every one of us. I am proud to be part of the FIFA Diversity Award that aims to recognise those in the game who work tirelessly to eradicate exclusion and discrimination. They are the lifeblood of our modern game.”