Combating Antisemitism in and through Sports - World Jewish Congress

Combating Antisemitism in and through Sports

Calendar 29 March 2023

Start time 08:00 (New York) / 14:00 (Brussels) / 15:00 (Jerusalem)

Sport offers a promising platform to put social issues on the agenda with campaigns and to reach a heterogeneous target group with educational offers. More specifically, football brings together more people than almost any other activity in society. Every weekend, more than 80,000 football matches take place in Germany alone and millions of fans go to stadiums. These stadiums are part of society. Even during the week, football is a topic at all workplaces, during the daily commute, in pubs and restaurants. Football thus offers a point of reference in people's everyday lives.  

Sports, and football in particular, can be a very important platform for project against racism, discrimination and antisemitism. The special heterogeneous target group and the possibilities to involve municipal partners and sponsors in a broad coalition via the clubs offers a unique potential. In this way, leveraging the power of football against antisemitism can contribute to overcoming this scourge, both in the football-specific context but also at the societal level. 

Antiracist work has had the longest tradition of activities in Sport. As early as 1996, a successful project was launched in England with the campaign "Show Racism the red card," which worked mainly with testimonials of famous players. Subsequently, fans and associations developed campaigns and projects on racism in other countries. In recent years, the fight against homophobia has gained momentum and is being supported by more and more associations, fans, and clubs. Activities on the topic of antisemitism have so far mainly come from a few fan scenes that deal specifically with the topic, as well as from a few clubs that also present their work to the outside world.  

In 2023, the World Jewish Congress will launch new activities with its partners and institutionalize its engagement against antisemitism in sport under an umbrella institution, the Center for Combating Antisemitism in Sport and Society. This initiative will be launched at the side panel in March 2023, in the framework of the UN Human Rights Council session, to also coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Supported by UNESCO

Cosponsored by