Scarf of Respect
Uniting football fans against racism
On October 14th 2019, during the Bulgaria-England Euro Qualifier, English players were subjected to racist chanting from sections of the Bulgarian crowd.
Bulgaria got heavily beaten but suffered even a greater defeat in world media and a punishment from UEFA.
Football is an international language that should unite and not divide people.
That’s why together with the Bulgarian Football Union we decided to take action.
On November 16th, right before the next Bulgaria game, we launched the Scarf of Respect.
The Scarf of Respect
Football scarves usually divide fans. This one, showing a multiracial handshake, reminds them that football is for all.
All proceedings from the sales of the Scarf of Respect will go to tackling racism in the game.
To promote the Scarf we organised a photo session with current players from the different national football teams.
National team captain, Ivelin Popov
Brazilian-born national team player Marcelinho
Womens’ national team goalkeeper, Viktoriya Dimova
National team player Bozhidar Kraev
We created a video with the national players, embodying the Bulgarian Football Union’s belief that football is for all, regardless of their race, gender or religion.
The next match
During the next official match, Bulgarian football legends Martin Petrov and Hristo Yanev wore the Scarf of Respect in the studio before the game.
The kids escorting the players on the pitch were also equipped with the Scarf.
On the day of the launch, Sky Sports featured the Scarf of Respect in their news section.
What followed was a wave of local and international PR in the form of TV reports, online publications and social media reactions.
The campaign culminated in an official letter from the English Football Association chairman Greg Clarke, who thanked the Bulgarian Football Union for the reaction.