The governing body of international soccer said on Wednesday that it would be creating a new programme to combat prejudice and hate speech that may occur online during the next World Cup.
When players log on to their phones in the changing rooms minutes after games, the Social Media Protection Service will prevent them from viewing any abusive messages that may have been sent to them.
The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) will monitor the social media accounts of all participants in the World Cup. This monitoring will include searching for public-facing comments that are abusive, discriminatory, or threatening, and then reporting them to social networks and law enforcement.
“FIFA is dedicated to providing the best possible circumstances for players to perform to the best of their ability,” stated Gianni Infantino, the President of FIFA. “The best possible conditions”
“At the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are happy to launch a service that will help to protect players from the harmful effects that social media posts can cause to their mental health and wellbeing,” the statement reads.
Teams, players, and other individual participants will also have the option to opt in to a moderation service that will quickly conceal abusive and disrespectful remarks on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. This will prevent the receiver and their followers from being able to view the comments.
According to a research that was released by FIFA in this year, more than half of the players who participated in last year’s European Championship and Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) were harassed or bullied online for being of a certain race or ethnicity.
Willian, a Brazilian international football player who is not now part of his country’s World Cup roster, is lending his support to the effort since he has been the target of bigotry online.
When Willian was asked why he was supporting this effort, he responded by saying, “I am supporting this campaign because a year ago I was in Brazil, and I was suffering a lot, and so was my family, because people began harassing us on social media, assaulting my family.”
“That is the reason I’m standing here with FIFA to see if you can put a stop to the kinds of activities that, at times, cause me to feel unhappy,” I said.