For the first time in an official tournament, FIFA will use a three-step procedure in case of discriminatory incidents and also deploy anti-discrimination observers at all matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.
With this three-step procedure, referees will have the authority to first stop the match and request a public announcement to insist that the discriminatory behaviour cease, to then suspend the match until the behaviour stops following another warning announcement, and finally, if the behaviour still persists, to decide to abandon the match.
The anti-discrimination observers, meanwhile, are a natural continuation of the monitoring system that FIFA has put in place to monitor FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers and selected friendlies. The match observers are coordinated and trained by the Fare network, an organisation with a long track record of monitoring and fighting discrimination in football. Based on Fare’s 'Global guide to discriminatory practices in football', the match observers will monitor the behaviour of fans from both teams, as well as any spectators who are not affiliated to a particular team playing in the match.
Should any discriminatory incidents occur during a match, the evidence collected by the match observers will be forwarded to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for review and potential action. Furthermore, the match observers will support operational staff in resolving incidents of discrimination before and during the matches by being directly in touch with security personnel.
“The work that has been carried out in FIFA World Cup qualifier matches in all confederations will now also be implemented for the first time in a FIFA tournament. Together with the possibility to apply the three-step procedure, these are ground-breaking changes in the global fight against discrimination that will mark the 2017 edition of the FIFA Confederations Cup,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “Both initiatives are extra tools for the referees and match officials to prevent discriminatory attitudes and ensure that the atmosphere in the stadium is one of fair play and respect.”
“We are pleased that Russia has been entrusted with the mission to become the first host country of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup to implement such initiatives with the aim of making world football better,” added Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman, Vitaly Mutko. "This is a very honourable role and a big responsibility, and we are confident that the forthcoming Tournament of Champions will be held in an atmosphere of celebration and hospitality towards all guests and teams of the Confederations Cup."
Besides the reinforcement of controls and sanctions, awareness-raising and education is another key pillar of the strategy that has been put in place. A video will be played on the big screens of the FIFA Confederations Cup stadiums featuring football legends conveying the anti-discrimination message. In 2015, FIFA published the Good Practice Guide on Diversity and Anti-Discrimination to support all of its member associations and also introduced the annual FIFA Diversity Award to highlight the efforts of organisations, groups or individuals that are standing up for diversity in football and inspiring unity, solidarity and equality among all people.
At the semi-finals in Kazan on 28 June and Sochi on 29 June, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) will also celebrate the FIFA Anti-Discrimination Days with a special pre-match protocol, an annual event that has been part of the FIFA calendar since 2001.