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Refined inclusivity principles for club identity released by FFA

Today is a new step forward by Football Federation Australia who have announced the release of new Inclusivity Principles for Club Identity to replace the National Club Identity Policy.

The changes have been made to preserve club ethnicity and will promote multiculturalism.

Here are the key points from a recent media release by FFA:

FFA INCLUSIVITY PRINCIPLES FOR CLUB IDENTITY 

Creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for participants from all cultural and linguistic backgrounds. 

Football in Australia has a rich and diverse history which FFA wishes to acknowledge and celebrate. Many clubs were formed and have developed from particular local communities who have made significant contributions to the growth and reputation of the sport of football as a whole. These communities are reflective of the multicultural nature of Australia and the vast reach of the love for the “World Game”.

FFA celebrates diversity and multiculturalism in our game and wants to ensure that football in Australia is open, accessible and embracing of all participants from all cultural backgrounds. Every person should feel welcome, safe and included at their local football club.

The way a club identifies itself to the community (including through its name, logo, principles and actions) can have a significant impact on whether a person feels welcome and included at that club. It can also affect the broader reputation of the game.

Following consultation with independent industry experts, FFA recommends that clubs embrace broad identities that are not tied to a single specific culture. FFA understands the importance of clubs being able to respectfully recognise their heritage and the specific communities that were instrumental in establishing and developing such clubs. At the same time, clubs that celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and make people feel like they belong regardless of their cultural background are more likely to succeed.

FFA has developed the following Inclusivity Principles for Club Identity to provide guidance to clubs on how they can be more inclusive in the way they identify themselves as well as the practices and actions that clubs adopt in engaging with their members and the broader community.

Importantly, these Principles are only a part of the development of a broader FFA Inclusion and Diversity framework which will encompass other matters that are fundamental for our sport to create an open and inclusive environment, such as promoting gender diversity and accessibility for people with a disability (to name just two examples). The Inclusivity Principles for Club Identity also provide guidance on how clubs may wish to recognise their heritage in ways that are not inconsistent with these fundamental objectives.

Inclusivity Principles for Club Identity

(a) These Inclusivity Principles for Club Identity are not intended to be enforceable, strict regulations. Rather, they are guiding principles for clubs to refer to in seeking to be inclusive to people from all cultural backgrounds.

(b) Clubs are encouraged to consider various ways to recognise and celebrate their heritage while still respecting and welcoming people from all backgrounds. Clubs that identify themselves in an all-embracing and inclusive manner that is open to all participants may be perceived as more welcoming than clubs with branding that is targeted to one single culture.

(c) Club names that reflect the local geographical region they represent and do so in a way that is welcoming to people from all cultural backgrounds are encouraged.

(d) Clubs may be more attractive to a broader range of participants if their name is:

(i) in English rather than a foreign language; and

(ii) of broad appeal rather than solely associated with a particular cultural, political or religious group.

(e) Clubs are encouraged to celebrate multiculturalism and diversity and make it clear to the community that they welcome people from all cultural backgrounds. Club names that reference another country or region (outside their locality) may indicate to the community that only people from that country or region are welcome (or are more welcome) to participate at that club.

(f) Clubs are encouraged to use symbols and words in their logo or emblem that are of broad appeal to make it clear to the community that they welcome people from all cultural backgrounds.  Clubs that adopt a logo or emblem with a dominant reference which is associated with a particular culture, religion, or political group may cause people who do not associate with that background to feel less welcome.

(g) Milestone years for clubs present an opportunity for them to recognise their heritage and show the journey that the club has been on. This heritage could be acknowledged by displaying a temporary commemorative version of their old logo alongside their new current logo in marketing and promotional materials and on the club’s website.

(h) In seeking to acknowledge their heritage clubs should have regard to the FIFA Laws of the Game and relevant regulations in relation to playing kit which the club must adhere to, including any prohibition on political and religious slogans, statements and images.

(i) Clubs should be aware of their obligations under federal, state and territory discrimination laws (including but not limited to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth)) and never give preference to one player over another on the basis of their cultural background or religious or political beliefs. The FFA Statutes (including the National Member Protection Policy and National Code of Conduct) also prohibit discrimination on these grounds.

(j) Clubs should encourage positive, welcoming and safe support at (and in connection with) Matches and take all reasonable steps to discourage rivalry with another club on the basis of any actual or perceived cultural, political or religious affiliations to that club, including in relation to their supporters.

Discrimination and other prohibited conduct

To be clear, FFA has a zero-tolerance policy in relation to discrimination, vilification, hatred and violence on all legally recognised grounds including race, nationality, ethnicity, religion and political views. FFA strongly encourages anyone who becomes aware of these behaviours, including by any club, to immediately report these incidents to their competition administrator. There are also applicable federal, state and territory discrimination laws that clubs must adhere to at all times.

Any incident of this nature may be dealt with by the appropriate body in accordance with applicable rules and regulations including any local or FFA rule or regulation, such as the National Code of Conduct. Clubs should note that, under the National Code of Conduct, they may be held liable for the actions of their supporters.

Accordingly, clubs have an important role to play in ensuring that football matches in particular are played in an open, safe and welcoming environment for all participants and spectators.

https://www.ffa.com.au/news/ffa-releases-inclusivity-principles-club-identity

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

$1.5 Billion FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan Approved

FIFA

The Bureau of the FIFA Council has approved the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan regulations which aim to financially support member associations during the pandemic.

$1.5 billion USD ($2.1 billion AUD), will be made available by the international governing body to assist the member associations and confederations.

Each member association will receive a $1 million USD universal solidarity grant. An extra $500,000 USD will be provided which can only be used for women’s football.

The six football confederations will also receive $2 million USD each, these grants will be received by the organisations by January 2021.

As a part of the plan member associations will also be able to apply for interest free loans of up to 35 per cent of their annual revenues. FIFA has set a maximum loan limit of five million dollars. Confederations will be able to apply for loan of up to four million dollars.

FIFA said that clear loan repayment conditions are laid out in the regulations along with strict compliance and audit requirements.

“This relief plan is a great example of football’s solidarity and commitment in such unprecedented times,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“I would like to thank my colleagues of the Bureau of the Council for approving the decision to move forward with such an important initiative for the benefit of all member associations and confederations.”

With the funds provided FIFA believes that member associations will be able to restart competitions, re-hire staff and pay any administration or operating costs.

“Unfortunately, the resultant suspension of basic football activities in almost every country has led to enormous financial distress for member associations and their respective football structures,” FIFA said in the relief plan.

“FIFA quickly recognised the need and duty to implement a FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan aimed at alleviating this distress and ensuring the provision of financial support to assist with football’s resumption and protect the games future well-being across the globe.”

FIFA administrators created the plan earlier this year after consultation with the confederations. The plan was then approved by the FIFA Council on June 25.

Queensland features an abundance of Matildas

New figures show that Queensland's female development has been incredibly successful in finding new talent, who have represented the Westfield Matildas.

New figures show that Queensland’s female development has been incredibly successful in finding talent, who have represented the Westfield Matildas.

As part of Football Queensland’s latest findings, 40 homegrown players have gone on to represent the Australian Women’s National Team at major senior and youth tournaments since July 2012.

Katrina Gorry, Mackenzie Arnold and Hayley Raso (pictured) are a few examples of local talents working their way up the ranks during the last eight years and will be key contributors in the next Women’s World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

Gorry, Arnold and Raso spent time at the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) before accomplishing themselves in the Westfield W-League and internationally.

Football Queensland and the QAS combined to launch a full-time training and playing program for upcoming talents in 2018.

“Our pathway is now the envy of every female footballer in the country,” Rae Dower said, a former Matilda and current Junior Matildas Head Coach.

“We’re fully committed to evolving the program and to helping as many female players in Queensland reach their full potential on and off the field through the creation of our high-performance environment.

“We’d love to help make dreams come true for Queensland players wanting to play for the Matildas in a home FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023 and beyond.”

Football Federation Australia revealed more than 18,000 women and girls from Queensland played football in 2019, as part of the latest census findings – a three per cent increase on 2018.

“The numbers we have are very encouraging and we look forward to seeing Queensland produce many more Westfield Matildas,” FQ Technical Director Gabor Ganczer said.

“Having the FIFA Women’s World Cup on home soil will be a big moment and objective for aspirational players and we are putting a lot of resources into helping them achieve their goals, not just now but permanently.”

Football Queensland provided every local player who has represented Australia at Olympic Games, World Cups or Continental Championships since the beginning of July in 2012:

Laura Alleway, Mackenzie Arnold, Mia Bailey, Angela Beard, Georgia Beaumont, Savannah Boller, Eliza Campbell, Kim Carroll, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Larissa Crummer, Isobel Dalton, Casey Dumont, Charlotte Farmer, Ciara Fowler, Mary Fowler, Sunny Franco, Shekinah Friske, Emily Gielnik, Brooke Goodrich, Katrina Gorry, Winonah Heatley, Elise Kellond-Knight, India Kubin, Aivi Luik, Afrikah McGladrigan, Teagan Micah, Ayesha Norrie (Kirby), Hollie Palmer, Clare Polkinghorne, Kezia Pritchard, Hayley Raso, Jamilla Rankin, Taylor Ray, Indiah-Paige Riley, Arina Tokunaga, Kaitlyn Torpey, Cortnee Vine, Natasha Wheeler, Brittany Whitfield, Tameka Yallop (Butt).

Junior football makes its return in Devonport

Football Queensland

After a delayed start due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 Devonport Junior Soccer Association season began this past weekend.

Close to 700 juniors between the age of four and twelve were back on the football field in the city of Devonport.

Football Tasmania CEO Matt Bulkeley was excited to see the children return to play the state’s favourite team sport.

“COVID-19’s impact was felt particularly hard on the north-west coast, creating a lot of uncertainty about whether the season could kick-off,” Mr Bulkeley said.

“To see children back out on the pitch again, having fun and being active is a great reward for whole community after a tough few months.

“With junior matches also starting across Burnie in the Western School Soccer Association earlier this month and the Northern Championship, WSL and NPL seasons underway, the football family on the north-west coast has finally returned to doing what they like best on the weekend – enjoying our great game.

“The 2020 season wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless work of all the volunteers, clubs and associations who have put in so many hours to make the return to football safe.

“On behalf of the entire Tasmanian football family I wholeheartedly thank everyone involved in rebooting football so players and families can again enjoy the vast array of health and social benefits playing the sport provides.

“I’d also like to thank our 2020 junior competition partners MyState Bank and Southern Cross Austero for their roles in helping get junior players back on the pitch safely and in time to fit in a meaningful season.”

DJSA President Richard Bidwell claimed there was a huge sense of relief to finally begin the football season.

“While this season may be shorter than usual, it’s been a lot busier behind the scenes, dealing with both the COVID delay and the building works at Meercroft Park.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved – from the DJSA staff and volunteers, to the schools and the Devonport City Council – for understanding the circumstances and making it possible for our kids to play.

“After being all set to go in March and then facing the unknown of how many players we’d have for 2020 if we could get a season in, it’s wonderful that football is finally back at Meercroft.”

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