Some of football’s biggest stars have joined forces with amateur players from around Europe to get behind #EqualGame, UEFA’s new RESPECT social responsibility campaign, which positively promotes inclusion, diversity and accessibility in football.
Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo have all come together to help promote the directive ahead of Matchday 1 of the UEFA Champions League.
“It will send a message to everyone that we are all the same on the pitch wherever you come from,” said Pogba.
Ronaldo added that he sees it as his “responsibility, as a person and a footballer, to try to bring happiness to as many people as I can, on and off the pitch.”
Their sentiments were shared by Lionel Messi, who insisted that “football really is a universal game that is accessible to all, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and religious beliefs.”
UEFA's video also features 66-year-old Eddie Thomas - who refused to give up the game despite a series of injuries - visually-impaired Istvan Szabo and 17-year-old female footballer Zehra Badem from Berlin.
Every month, UEFA will be promoting an amateur footballer from around Europe, who is able to show that age, disability or ethnicity is no obstacle to playing and enjoying football. Audiences can view and share the online content via all of UEFA’s digital channels, social media platforms and the Equal Game website.