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Olympic Committee and FIFA zero in on International Day of Sport

Olympic Committee and FIFA zero in on International Day of Sport

Olympic Committee and FIFAToday, April 6 is the fifth anniversary of the United Nations’ proclamation of the day as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace.

 

And both the International Olympic Committee and FIFA appear to have taken the lead in highlighting the anniversary with commemorative statements.

FIFA says it commemorates this day and the power of football to contribute to human development and peace.

The world governing body for football said in the past year, it has supported campaigns and recognised organisations that have contributed to these causes by using football as a tool for positive change around the world.

And among initiatives that FIFA has highlighted is its presentation of its inaugural FIFA Diversity Award which it says recognises outstanding organisations, group initiatives and football personalities that are standing up for diversity and inspire unity, solidarity and equality among all people.

Indian NGO Slum Soccer was the inaugural recipient of the FIFA Diversity Award, FIFA noted.

FIFA said its third annual Conference for Equality and Inclusion held last month at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, had brought together some of the world’s strongest voices in the fight for a fair, non-discriminatory society.

Themed “Making Equality a Reality”, conference representatives, FIFA said, identified the many steps that still need to be taken, particularly to close the existing gap between men and women.

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FIFA said as part of the legacy programme for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016, the #ENDviolence campaign focused awareness on ending violence towards women and children in the country.

The IOC meanwhile says it is celebrating the Refugee Olympic Team and the power of sport to unite people and help build a peaceful and better world.

With the help of the National Olympic Committees and the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, the IOC identified 10 athletes, who originally hailed from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, living in forced displacement, and helped them through its Olympic Solidarity programmes to go to the Olympic Games in Rio.

The IOC says the Refugee Olympic Team – the first of its kind – acted as a symbol of hope and peace for refugees across the globe.

They inspired the world with the strength of their human spirit. and with billions of TV spectators watching the Opening Ceremony of the Games, they also helped bring to global attention the worldwide refugee crisis, the IOC said.

Highlighting the power of the Games to promote solidarity and tolerance, Yusra Mardini, a member of the Refugee Olympic Team, added: “We do not speak the same language, we are from different countries, but the Olympic flag unites us all together.”

At the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in October 2015, confronted with the global refugee crisis that has seen an estimated 65.3 million people in the world displaced, IOC President Thomas Bach announced the creation of the Refugee Olympic Team to take part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

Beyond the Olympic Games, the IOC continues to support these athletes day by day through its Olympic Solidarity Refugee Athletes Support Programme, to help them to build their future.

Following the successful participation of the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio, the IOC says it is working on the definition of the “safe places” programme, as announced by the IOC President at the UN General Assembly in October 2016.

This initiative, the IOC says,  will help improve the quality of life of displaced and disadvantaged children and young people worldwide by developing safe places for them to play sport.

The IOC says contributing to building a peaceful and better world through sport is a fundamental principle of the Olympic Charter, and the Olympic Movement implements countless sports activities and initiatives aimed at driving social change every day in every corner of the world.

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