20 September 2019 – FIFA is delighted to announce the three finalists of the FIFA Diversity Award 2019. Through their community-based projects, Fútbol Más Foundation, PlayOnside and Watoto Wasoka have all championed diversity, fought discrimination and promoted integration through football.
“Now in its fourth year, the FIFA Diversity Award continues to be a platform to showcase, recognise and celebrate a wide range of organisations championing diversity and anti-discrimination through the power of football,” said Federico Addiechi, FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Diversity.
“We are proud to have such inspiring finalists to share their best practice and commitment in this area, and are delighted to support, honour and highlight the incredible work they are doing.”
The winner of the 2019 award will be revealed at a special ceremony in Milan on Sunday, 22 September. The programme will include a keynote speech from FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, a discussion on the impact of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ with Laura Georges, Secretary General of the French FA, and panels with the finalists and experts in diversity.
Additional information on the finalists (in alphabetical order):
Fútbol Más Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2008 with the aim of using football as a tool for resilience development and youth and community empowerment. Through football, they work to develop the life skills of children and young people living in contexts of social vulnerability, whilst connecting children with their communities, thereby promoting integration and diversity, fostering solidarity and cohesion without discrimination.
Founded in 2013, PlayOnside uses football as a tool to promote social inclusion among migrants and refugees, and challenges gender-based stereotypes on the border of Thailand and Myanmar. In an area where more than 200,000 Myanmarese children are displaced, PlayOnside brings together migrants and refugees from different ethnic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Furthermore, PlayOnside promotes the integration of refugees by strengthening dialogue and exchange with the local Thai community.
Since 2009, Watoto Wasoka has been using football with the intention of reducing the number of street children in Kampala’s slums, providing them with access to the local school system and support to better integrate into their communities. To promote the inclusion of these children into the community, Watoto Wasoka also sensitises the community to the situation of street children and children living in slums.
The winner of the award will be chosen by a jury comprising 11 prominent names from football and the promotion of diversity in sport, including a representative of the winner of the 2018 edition, the Horn of Africa Development Initiative (Kenya). This is the full jury for the FIFA Diversity Award 2019:
- Fatuma Abdulkadir Adan (Horn of Africa Development Initiative in Kenya, winner of the FIFA Diversity Award 2018)
- Ryan Atkin (English referee, European Referee Director at the International Gay & Lesbian Football Association – IGLFA)
- Jefinho (Brazil five-a-side blind football international)
- María Sol Muñoz (member of the FIFA Council)
- Lydia Nsekera (member of the FIFA Council)
- Alexandra Haas Paciuc (President of CONAPRED)
- Khalida Popal (FIFA Legend, former Afghanistan international, activist for gender equality)
- Jaiyah Saelua (American Samoa international)
- Clarence Seedorf (FIFA Legend, four-time UEFA Champions League winner, former Netherlands international)
- Tokyo Sexwale (anti-apartheid activist)
- Abby Wambach (FIFA Women’s World Cup™ winner, former USA international)
The three finalists were selected by the jury from a shortlist of six candidates, which also included:
- Halberg Foundation (New Zealand)
- CAIS Association (Portugal)
- Malta Football Association – “All In – All For Football” (Malta)