A worldwide football social enterprise has launched an online campaign to combat the maltreatment of women and girls in the sport.
The campaign by AFDP Global
is using the hashtag #FearlessFootball
across social media with the aim of ending the abuse, harassment and exploitation of women in football.
In addition, the public is being urged to sign an online petition
setting out a declaration of principles to protect women, for football’s governing bodies to adhere to.
The campaign has been launched following reports of the abuse
of women within the sport in Afghanistan.
Those backing the campaign include former England international women’s players Eniola Aluko, Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey and Katie Chapman as well as former US international Yael Averbuch West.
Among others signing are former mens football internationals Robbie Fowler and Jamie Carragher of England and former French international players Louis Saha and Robert Pires.
Kelly Lindsey, manager of the Afghanistan Women’s National Football Team is another supporter. She said: “By signing and sharing the #FearlessFootball petition, we can ensure that these women and girls are no longer ignored. The case in Afghanistan is not an isolated one and highlights profound failings in the integrity of world football governance.
“We need to ensure that the experiences of women and girls in football are listened to at the highest levels. There is power in numbers and, by standing in solidarity with women and girl athletes, we send the strongest possible message that nothing less than equality and dignity will do.”
Another supporter is Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, who said: ““The era in world football governance which has allowed coaches, staff and officials to misuse their power in the treatment of women and girls must end now.
“The launch of the #FearlessFootball campaign is a landmark moment for the integrity of the game, as we look forward to a brighter future where every girl and woman can play football in safety and with dignity.”