Lagos - Former Super Falcons star Ayisat Yusuf has been invited to attend this year’s fourth UEFA Apan European Respect Diversity conference scheduled for September 10 and 11 in Rome.
The former defender was a member of the Nigerian squad at the 2004 African Women's Championship, 2007 Women's World Cup and the 2008 Summer Olympics.
The conference organised by UEFA, with the support of the Fare network and FIFPro, the world player’s union, and hosted by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), will bring together key stakeholders, with delegates representing UEFA member associations, European leagues, clubs, political and governmental organisations, non-governmental organisations and minority groups.
Around 70 people from 28 countries will form the Fare delegation to the event. The attendees will take part in the conference debates or speak in workshops.
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UEFA President Michel Platini will open the conference with a keynote speech, followed by a panel discussion with decision-makers from politics and sport.
The conference will provide a platform for participants to share good practice on combating discrimination in different settings and across geographies and it will serve as a sounding board for practical solutions addressing the issue in the future.
Yusuf, who is currently based in Finland, told News24 Nigeria that she is glad to have been invited to be part of history.
“Am actually grateful to Almighty God because he alone is my source of joy and happiness. I also felt so honoured that even in this strange land, I am recognized. There so many people that are really looking for this great opportunity, despite being a foreigner I was selected.”
“Am looking forward to do my best, my reference am going as a coach and board adviser, I believe God is at work in my life and he will sure see be through in a great way in thy mighty name of Jesus Amen.” She told News24 Nigeria.
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Six workshops will take place on the second day on a series of themes that include an overview of the sanctions regime in football, tackling homophobia, working with ethnic minorities, overcoming glass ceilings, discrimination in Southern Europe and how FAs can develop action plans.
The second day of the conference will consist of a players’ panel discussion with former and current professional footballers.
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