Friday, July 1, 2011

FIFA Reacts To Discriminatory Remarks Made By Nigerian Coach Eucharia Uche

FIFA has confimed that Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's Head of Women’s Competitions, met with Nigeria coach Eucharia Uche on Wednesday 29 June 2011 in Frankfurt to inform her and discuss media reports regarding alleged discriminating statements on homosexuality.

Following this meeting, the allegations about these discriminating statements were firmly denied by the Nigerian coach during a press conference on the same day.

FIFA would like to reiterate its position regarding any discriminating statements or action, and remind that FIFA, through its various committees, is actively committed to fighting against all kinds of discrimination within football and within society as a whole.

In addition to hosting events such as the FIFA Conference on Racism in Football and holding an Anti-Discrimination Day every year, FIFA has stressed on a number of occasions its commitment to fight any kind of discrimination in football.

In 2010, the FIFA Anti-Discrimination Day was held on 2 and 3 July, coinciding with the four 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-final matches, so as to make a clear statement to the billions around the world about FIFA's united stand against racism and all forms of discrimination. For more information please click on the link to the right.

The FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Anti-Discrimination Day will take place on 13 July 2011, when the semi-final matches are played.

In the long term, FIFA will continue the fight against all forms of discrimination through every possible means at its disposal.

Let us not forget that a strong, active and vocal grassroots support of these principles is essential to this process and we need every fan of the beautiful game to do their part - and in this respect, the world's media plays a key role too.


FIFA has criticised Falcons coach Eucharia Uche for branding homosexuality as 'dirty' and admitting she forced lesbians out of her team. "FIFA is against all forms of discrimination," Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's head of women's competitions, told German television channel ARD.Haenni said FIFA will be talking to Uche about her comments and reminded the coach of the governing bodies statutes. In a mission statement, FIFA says it wants to use the sport in 'overcoming social and cultural obstacles for women with the ultimate aim of improving women's standing in society'.

"We are here at a FIFA event and will point out that it would be best to express oneself neutrally," said Haenni. Uche sparked controversy in a New York Times interview ahead of the women's World Cup, which started last Sunday, in which she called homosexuality 'dirty' and insisted it was 'spiritually and morally very wrong'. Uche said she removed lesbians from the Falcons.

"Yes, the lesbians in our team were really a big problem," she said having taken over as coach in 2009. "But since I'm coach of the Super Falcons, that has been cleared up."There are no more lesbian players in my team."I can not tolerate this dirty life." Germany reserve goalkeeper Ursula Holl is married to a woman and first-choice shot-stopper Nadine Angerer is openly bisexual.

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