European project on inclusion and diversity in football granted

The project iFLIPP - Innovating Football Leadership: Inclusion through Policy and Practice – has been granted by the European Union, it will start in 2020 and end in 2023.
Dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg, ESHCC Media & Communication department, is a co-applicant in the project and will lead two of the work packages. The project leader of iFLIPP is the Fare network – a European network organization that works in the field of anti-discrimination in football.

The goal of the project is to strengthen gender equality and the inclusion of ethnic minorities in leadership positions in European professional and grassroots football. In 2014, the Fare network supported by European football association UEFA produced a report titled Glass Ceilings in European Football (Bradbury, Van Sterkenburg & Mignon, 2014) that demonstrated the dominance of white men in the sport’s governance. Recent peer refereed articles, either based on the report or on gender inequality in mediated (women’s) football can be found below.

The racially homogeneous character of coaching and leadership positions in professional men’s football contrasts sharply with the racial/ethnic diversity on the pitch, across Europe. Although the Fare report provided recommendations to make leadership more inclusive, recent figures indicate that not much has changed. The iFLIPP project therefore aims to collect and analyze narratives from women and minority ethnic leaders in football that have been successful, and identify obstacles and opportunities they mention in navigating the world of football. This will assist future leaders in the field. National European football associations will also cooperate in the project and reflect on their own practices related to diversity and social inclusion.

Part of the project will be the production of a MOOC (online training course) to further mainstream the leadership training and professional development, and a manifest on an inclusive football culture which serves as policy recommendation. EUR will take a leading role in both products.

The following consortium of co-applicants and affiliated partners is involved (in addition to ESHCC):
Fare Network (main applicant), Discover Football (Germany), Integrated Dreams (Portugal), European University Students Association (pan-European)
, Portugal Football Association, Malta Football Association, and UEFA (affiliated partner).