MALOUDA TAKES PRIDE IN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION DRIVE

Posted on: Fri 30 Mar 2012

Today is our game dedicated to our support for Kick It Out's 'One Game, One Community' campaign. French wing wizard Florent Malouda is once again our anti-discrimination ambassador, and sat down with the official Chelsea website this week to discuss the club's work across the community.

Florent, this is your second year in a row as Chelsea's Kick It Out ambassador...
Yes, I did it last year and so when they asked me again I wanted to respond positively. The club is achieving a lot of things in the communities, helping a lot of people not just across London but across the world. We have travelled to places and seen the involvement in a lot of community projects. That's part of our club's identity and I am very proud of that.

Do you enjoy the involvement you have with our community work?
Of course. We do it because there is a natural contact with the people we meet, a real exchange and you feel like you receive a warm welcome from people wherever you go. They are happy to spend a little moment with you, and we don't forget that most of us come from these communities with their problems, so it is great to see these kids being happy, and it reminds us of where we were some time ago.

You do a lot of other work away from the club too...
I am very active. As I said I have come from these environments and there is a lot of potential there, I know how the kids and communities are huge fans of footballers and for me it is the natural thing to do. I have kids too and I love getting involved in projects around education and giving a good example. It is a positive way to explain what you are doing besides football.

Malouda - Kick it Out ambassador

Football and more generally sport has to be a force for good, doesn't it?
Absolutely. It has to be a good way to promote education as well. I have the perfect example with my son who loves football. I use football to motivate him at school, he knows if he isn't a good student he won't be going to football coaching. You learn a lot of values with football, discipline, commitment and working in a team. You share the good moments and the bad moments. All these things represent football, and it's a good way to promote education.

Where are we in England with the way we battle discrimination compared with other countries you have played in or visited?
Every country is different. The right thing about England, the UK, is that we speak about it. One Game, One Community is very good because it raises the profile of the subject and tries to find a way to fight against discrimination of all kinds in a positive way. You can always have a bad reaction when you are subject to discrimination, but the example set by Kick It Out is very good for the new generations. Professional footballers being involved shows a good example, and I love the concept.

Rivalries here between clubs are based on football, rather than politics or religion...
There is always history and rivalry between clubs, but it is down to the sport here, nothing more than that. We have a huge rivalry with Liverpool and we know how proud the fans are and we try to defend that. We know they want to be proud after the game and we have to make sure we put everything on the pitch to make our fans proud. That's the most important thing.

There is a mutual respect between the clubs. We are all trying to do the best we can year after year and every club is really competing to be the best. I appreciate the respect the players have on the pitch and the behaviour between them, even when there is a big competition to play.