A new educational initiative has been launched in Spain to promote a violence and discrimination free football among the next generation of fans.
Presented in October by the Spanish Professional League La Liga (LFP) in collaboration with the Spanish Superior Council of Sports (CSD) the ‘Futura Afición‘ initiative is targeted at children between 6 and 12 years old and will tour around Spanish schools championing the values of respect, tolerance and anti-violence.
During the first stage of the programme, which will end in January 2016, workshops of 4 hours each will be held in 10 schools in cities including Madrid, Seville, Valencia and Málaga. Activities will include the production of new chants and football gear, including scarves, that support teams without discriminating and send inclusive messages and group discussions in which each youngster will play different roles (referee, fan and player) to understand what each goes through during the game. At the end of each session, students will play a match, where they will put into practice what they learnt during the workshops.
La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “It is important to understand what the others feel and go through during the math: the supporter that just lost the game, the referee that made a controversial decision and the player that missed a goal.
“Above all, it is important to make clear that under no circumstances verbal or physically violence can be tolerated”.
The initiative follows a series of projects initiative by the LFP to promote football as an inclusive and accessible sport to all. In October, La Liga and the Madrid-based educational centre ONCE teamed up to collaborate in projects that encourage the participation of the disabled in football.
Alongside with the two projects, the LFP continue to host the Taller de Integridad workshops, which promote debates around discrimination and violence in football among grassroots and professional players of all La Liga and Liga Adelante clubs.
In San Salvador, a new cooperation has also been recently established, between the LFP and the mayor of the capital El Salvador, to promote football as tool to prevent violence among deprived communities, promote inclusion, healthy practices and gender equality.