UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin and European Parliament President David Sassoli have agreed for the organisations to work together to promote inclusion and safeguard solidarity.
During a videoconference on Tuesday, Čeferin and Sassoli discussed social and societal objectives – in particular the two presidents discussed fighting racism, improving inclusion and stopping prejudice.
“Europe is united in diversity but also in its love of football,” President Sassoli said.
“It brings people together from different backgrounds and unites communities – something we need more than ever as we rebuild after COVID-19.
“The European Parliament is committed to the fight against racism and will work closely with UEFA on projects to tackle prejudice and boost inclusion.”
UEFA President Čeferin shared a similar sentiment about promoting inclusion.
“From promoting values in education of young people, to promoting equality and diversity and fighting all forms of discrimination, UEFA and the European Parliament have a longstanding shared vision of European football as a force for good,” he said.
The pair also spoke about how European football can aid Europe’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Whilst COVID-19 has temporarily postponed our plans to celebrate 60 years of EURO with a tournament bridging the entire continent, UEFA is doing all it can to ensure that football continues to spread joy and promote values to hundreds of millions of people across the EU,” confirmed Čeferin.
President Sassoli said that the European model of sport, that involved fans and strengthened communities needed to be protected.
“This contributes to a common European feeling. UEFA has an essential role to play in protecting the integrity of the game and ensuring it benefits Europe as a whole,” he added.
Čeferin and Sassoli also provided reflection on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must not overlook what this crisis has taught us about the importance of continuing to build a model of sports that promotes football for the enjoyment of all, rather than the profit of the few,” Čeferin said.
The impact of the pandemic has offered plenty of valuable lessons to be learned going forward.
“This has been one of the most difficult years for football in Europe,” Sassoli said.
“Players have seen their leagues cancelled or postponed and fans have been unable to attend matches in person.”