“Discrimination Off Limits” is a European Union-funded initiative addressing rising racism and social discrimination in football, particularly in Europe. Football, historically a unifier across cultures, is now marred by increasing incidents of aggression towards players and supporters from social minorities, with 54% of fans witnessing racial discrimination in stadiums. Additionally, online platforms exacerbate this issue; in Italy, a study revealed that a majority of sports-related Facebook posts attract hate speech comments.
The project aims to equip football communication professionals with tools and knowledge to effectively combat racism and discrimination. It’s a collaboration between UrbanAct, SCI HELLAS, FARE NETWORK STICHTING, and CNR-IsMed. UrbanAct, known for the Offside Football Film Festival and social campaigns, leads the project, overseeing activities, financials, and logistics. CNR-IsMed, a research department of Italy’s National Research Council, contributes scientific guidance and research on football and social sciences. SCI HELLAS, part of the Service Civil International, brings stories of football’s role in civil society, while FARE Network coordinates research and story collection for sports communicators. The project underscores the need for diverse professionals in football communications to change the narrative around discrimination.