Tuesday 18 February 2014
Chelsea host Everton this weekend in what will be recognised as a Game for Equality, a new campaign designed to highlight work promoting equality within football and throughout communities.
Chelsea's Building Bridges programme will join forces with leading initiatives Kick It Out, Football v Homophobia, the Barclays Premier League and The Football Association to make a joint stand against discrimination thoroughout football in the Game for Equality, the first of its kind.
Building Bridges, Chelsea FC's campaign to promote equality within the club and in local communities, is central to the event. Its logo, an image of four figures holding hands, will appear on the Chelsea shirt for the first time in Saturday's match. The players will also warm up in specially designed T-shirts featuring the logos of the other organisations involved in the day.
The latest initiative by Chelsea is part of a national programme among Barclays Premier League clubs against discrimination in football. Earlier this month, teams across the country were united in the Football v Homophobia's 'Football For Everyone' campaign, as part of a month-long call for action.
Demba Ba is the ambassador for the inaugral Game for the Equality and the Chelsea striker is positive the cause can help promote equality.
"It is important we as a club stand up to all forms of discrimination"
"I'm proud to be asked to be the ambassador for this campaign as it is important we as a club stand up to all forms of discrimination," he said.
"I support all work promoting equality, and believe days like this will help get the message out there. "There is no place for discrimination. Our club and our communities should be open to all regardless of race, religion, gender or sexuality."
The Building Bridges initiative has been praised for its active work in promoting equality and now has the opportunity to showcase its work on the biggest stage. The Game for Equality will be live on global television and will feature the Barclays Premier League's top club, Chelsea, against European hopefuls Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Roisin Wood, director of Kick It Out, sees the occasion as an ideal opportunity for Chelsea to showcase a stand against discrimination.
"Chelsea FC's inaugural Game for Equality is the perfect platform for the club to demonstrate their support for organisations campaigning for equality and inclusion in football," Wood said.
"The work of the club's Building Bridges initiative goes further towards creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for supporters of all backgrounds, and shows Chelsea’s proactive approach in engaging with their local community.
"Kick It Out commends Chelsea FC and its Foundation on developing the Game for Equality and looks forward to continuing its close working relationship with the club moving forward."
“We welcome the work of Chelsea FC in combatting discrimination and prejudice in the game”
Football v Homophobia
Megan Worthing-Davies, director of Football v Homophobia, has also welcomed the Game for Equality with open arms and hopes the initiative can continue to work with Chelsea to tackle discrimination going forward.
"We welcome the work of Chelsea FC in combatting discrimination and prejudice in the game," she said.
"The club's leadership on challenging homophobia and creating a welcoming and safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people will make a difference not just within the club, but also within the wider community and around the world.
"Football v Homophobia applauds Chelsea's stance on this issue and is very pleased to be working with the club going forward."
Chelsea will release more information on the Game for Equality in the build up to the match.