Manchester United and the Foundation are playing their part in football's biggest community engagement initiative throughout the month, as Kick It Out's ‘One Game, One Community’ weeks of action take place from 15-27 October.
The club will be making its own unique contribution with a day of action at Old Trafford for the fixture against Bolton on Saturday 17th October. It forms part of a nationwide campaign celebrating diversity and encouraging inclusion at all levels of football.
Manchester United join football's biggest names; amongst them England boss Fabio Capello, who is urging fans, players and community groups to embrace the the ‘One Game, One Community’ message:
"Football is more than a sport. It is a phenomenon with an international language all of its own.
The ‘One Game, One Community’ weeks of action shows all that is good about football. Our ability to work and live together and break down barriers should never be underestimated."
The fixture is one of over 1000 events to take place across the country during the campaign. All professional clubs will hold events and activities to support the initiative, alongside schools and universities, as well as community and youth centres.
Lord Herman Ouseley, chair and founder of Kick It Out, said:
“The overarching idea behind the weeks of action is that the coming together of clubs, fans and surrounding communities provides a focused, highly visible message of anti-discrimination. But over and above this it's about helping clubs understand how crucial diversity is to our game and to maintain this mindset all year round.“
To demonstrate its support of the ‘One Game, One Community’ message Manchester United will be showcasing the following activities at the Kick it Out game:
The players will be warming up in Kick it Out t-shirts and as the teams enter the field of play, fans in the South West corner will be waving flags in support of the campaign. This year the one game one community message has shifted with gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability now as much a part of the campaign’s remit as race and skin colour were back in 1993. To celebrate diversity at the Club some of the Manchester United Girls Under 12s playing on the pitch at half time.
The Foundation has recently launched a new Manchester United Foundation Girls FA Centre of Excellence which aims to provide opportunities for girls to play football at the highest standard against other clubs of a similar level, with the eventual view of developing them into international players.
Defender John OShea is this year's nominated Kick it Out player, he said:
“I think we have come along way towards combating racism since organisations like Kick It Out were formed but there is still work to be done. When Manchester United play football we play together as a team, our backgrounds don’t come into it. People are discriminated against for many different reasons and as a society we have to realise that the population is always changing. We need to become more tolerant and accepting and work together. “