ROME: European federation president Michel Platini will give the keynote opening address  at next week’s UEFA pan-European Respect Diversity conference in Rome writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The conference, scheduled for September 1o and 11. has attracted particular interest after the accusations of racism levelled against new Italian football president Carlo Tavecchio ahead of his election last month.

Tavecchio is a member of UEFA’s youth and amateur football committee but the European body’s general secretary, Gianni Infantino, said last week that he had no information on whether Tavecchio would be attending – although the FIGC is the host federation.

The conference is organised by UEFA with the support of FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) and FIFPro, the world player’s union. It brings together delegates representing UEFA member associations, European leagues, clubs, political and governmental organisations, NGOs and minority groups.

Platini’s keynote speech will be followed by a panel discussion with participants from politics and sport.

He said: “At UEFA, we are committed to doing all we can to ensure diversity is respected in the world of football. Sport must embrace everyone, regardless of colour, faith, sexual orientation or political beliefs.

“I hope this conference, which we are organising with our partners, will encourage football leaders, coaches, players and fans to work together to stop all forms of discrimination.”

The conference aims to “provide a platform for participants to share good practice on combating discrimination in different settings and across geographies and . . . serve as a sounding board for practical solutions addressing the issue in the future.”

Six workshops on the second day include an overview of disciplinary action in football, tackling homophobia, working with ethnic minorities, overcoming glass ceilings, discrimination in southern Europe and how FAs can develop action plans.

A players’ panel discussion will also feature.