Viewers tuning into England’s upcoming fixture against Switzerland will be confused for a while. For the first 25 seconds of the match will be aired in black and white to honour the contribution of anti-racism body Kick It Out who are celebrating their 25th anniversary. The broadcast changes however will be brought into effect for Sky Sports on Tuesday evening when the teams enter the pitch at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium.
The footage will continue sans colour for 25 seconds, in recognition of Kick It Out’s landmark anniversary and to celebrate the impact the organisation has made in tackling racism and discrimination in football since 1993.
The fixture is dedicated to Kick It Out by the English Football Association and England players will show their support by warming up in specially designed T-shirts and entering the pitch alongside eight mascots nominated by the organisation.
The move comes on the path of recent launch of the ‘In Pursuit of Progress’ plan, which is part of the organisation’s commitment to ensure the diversity of those leading and governing football better reflects what we see on the pitch in the modern game. The plan will deliver initiatives focussed around gender and ethnicity across general workforce and leadership responsibilities, including coaching staff across the England teams.
Paul Elliott, The FA’s Inclusion Advisory Board Chairman, said: “Kick It Out have been a catalyst for the change in English football both on and off the pitch and we’re delighted to celebrate their inspirational work in promoting football for all. Hopefully the footage will encourage the millions of viewers at home to spend at least 25 seconds thinking about the importance of diversity in this beautiful game of ours.
“We’re very grateful to Sky Sports for supporting the idea since its conception and look forward to seeing Three Lions in black and white for the first time in nearly 50 years.”