Chelsea Football Club’s game against Everton this weekend will bring together football and important campaigns and organisations to highlight work promoting equality within the sport, and throughout communities.
The Game for Equality will see Chelsea FC’s Building Bridges initiative join forces with Kick It Out, Football v Homophobia, the Premier League and the Football Association to underline the commitment to tackling discrimination in all forms.
Building Bridges was launched in 2010 to promote equality in our club, our stadium and our communities, working alongside schools and other groups to celebrate our diversity, and the Game for Equality takes the initiative further.
Demba Ba is the ambassador for this first Game for Equality. He said: ‘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.
‘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 logo will appear on our home kit for the first time at Saturday’s game. The players will also warm up in specially designed t-shirts featuring the logos of the organisations involved in the day.
The Premier League and FA are supporters of a range of Chelsea’s equality initiatives from our ground-breaking Asian Star to developing opportunities for young Asian coaches with the Zesh Rehman Foundation.
The Premier League are also funders of our Education Through Football programme which sees Paul Canoville delivering anti-discrimination workshops to 1500 pupils as part of the programme.
Roisin Wood, director of Kick It Out, said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Megan Worthing-Davies, director of Football v Homophobia, said: ‘We welcome the work of Chelsea FC in combatting discrimination and prejudice in the game.
‘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.’
There will be more information on the Game for Equality and its importance in the coming days as the club builds up to the match.