The FAI was the first national sporting body to appoint someone with a specific responsibility for Interculturalism. The changing demographics in Ireland have given us a unique opportunity to support inclusion and reach out to new members of our community through the medium of our global game.
The Football Association of Ireland in conjunction with key stakeholders has developed the ‘Intercultural Football Plan & Programme'. Launched by Paul McGrath, the plan seeks to examine how best, in the context of a more diverse Irish society, to encourage increased participation in football among people from minority ethnic and cultural backgrounds, whilst also challenging and preventing the spread of racism within the game and thereby contribute towards a more intercultural and integrated society.
The Intercultural Football Programme has a number of core participation programmes within it; these include among others club open days, adult futsal leagues and urban youth blitzes. Another important aspect of the programme's work is to combat racism by working closely with clubs, leagues and affiliates at all levels of the game to ensure that football environments deal proactively with discrimination. This is achieved by supporting National League Clubs to implement the UEFA 10 POINT Plan and through the delivery of seminars for grassroots leagues, clubs & affiliates as well as through the programmes work with young people in schools.