Josuha Guilavogui will be wearing a rainbow captain’s armband when he leads the team out for tomorrow’s opening Bundesliga game against FC Schalke 04 (kick-off: 15:30 CEST) and for all future games this season. VfL Wolfsburg is sending out a clear message against discrimination and for diversity in football. “As a club we stand for a tolerant society,” commented VfL general manager Jörg Schmadtke. “That’s why we’re not only taking this stance against discrimination now but across the whole season and in all of our teams, sending out a clear signal that we stand for diversity.” Starting now, captains of all the Wolves’ men’s, women’s and youth teams will wear rainbow armbands during their matches.
Taking social responsibility seriously
Guilavogui, who has been at VfL for four years and was recently named captain for this season, is happy to support the campaign: “As footballers we’re role models and we want to show with the rainbow symbol that everyone is welcome in our stadium and at our club. It doesn’t matter what colour your skin is, what gender you are, who you love, whether you’re disabled or what beliefs you have – football is there for everyone to enjoy. That’s what the rainbow represents and as a team we’re fully behind this message.”
Fischer the trailblazer
The campaign has been driven by Nilla Fischer, who last year made a request to the club that she be allowed to wear the rainbow on her arm. Fischer has been wearing the special armband since March 2017 in all Allianz Women’s Bundesliga and DFB Cup games, and now all other VfL teams, from the men’s first team to the Under-10s, will follow from the start of the new season. And of course, all of the women’s teams are also involved in this unique initiative. VfL’s long-standing charity partner Lebenshilfe Wolfsburg is sewing the garments to ensure that every captain has a custom-fit armband.
VfL Wolfsburg have been campaigning against discrimination for a long time and in different ways. For this coming season, the fight against homophobia and sexism will be the focus of the club’s anti-discrimination work. In June, the Volkswagen Arena was lit up in the colours of the rainbow flag and on 1 September, VfL is holding a Streetkick against Homophobia event together with the City of Wolfsburg. Teams wishing to participate can still register by emailing email@example.com.