In the wake of a series of viral videos that captured a range of embarrassing events from racist chants to racist behaviour at football games, the industry is beginning to take stock of the way that such incidents are being used to generate revenue.
“We need to be able to look at the way the world is and understand that, in terms of our video content, it is not just about playing football but also about representing our values,” said the chief executive of the Spanish sports company FC Barcelona, Ángel Sánchez.
“What we are doing now is taking a deeper look into the different ways that these things are being monetised in different countries and we are starting to see that this is something that can be exploited.”
He noted that the Spanish football association had recently introduced a new video policy that required teams to use the footage on their social media accounts in order to attract sponsors.
But the Spanish Football Association, which oversees the leagues, says it has been working closely with video producers across the country.
It said that, since the new policy was introduced, the number of times the club has used video has increased by 20%.
The new policy has led to a sharp increase in the number and use of the hashtag #ToutoVacuums, which translates as “watch us play”.
But there is also an increasing concern among some Spanish football clubs that the industry could be going too far.
“In the past year or two, we have seen the emergence of these ‘watch us do something’ videos, which have led to an increase in abuse towards the clubs, and also the generalisation of these videos to a wider audience,” said Álvaro Pinto, the president of the Football Association of Spain.
“The more these videos are uploaded on social media, the more the negative reaction and criticism from the community becomes.
In this situation, we need to make sure that we do not get caught up in this trend.”
In a statement, the Association of Spanish Football Clubs (ASF) said that it had “not been able to confirm” whether any clubs had been using the hashtag on social platforms and that it was working with the Spanish national federation to “take appropriate action”.
But the ASF said it would “continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our fans”.
“We have no control over the content of these channels and it is important to understand the difference between being an actor and a broadcaster,” the ASG statement added.
“When a video is created or edited for use in a commercial or promotional video, there are some guidelines, guidelines, rules and guidelines that govern the way in which a video can be used and should be used.
The ASF will continue to work with the companies who create the videos and to ensure that the content is of good quality.”
A spokesperson for UEFA, which has its own video policy, said that the association had “no control over how we use the content on social networks” and added that the governing body had recently “developed and implemented an internal video policy”.
In recent years, social media platforms have been accused of having a role in fuelling racist and sexist behaviour towards people from minority groups, and it has become increasingly difficult for football clubs to combat such behaviour.
The video platform platforms that are currently the most active in taking a strong stance against the misuse of social media content are Twitter and Facebook.
The Spanish Football Federation has been the target of a barrage of abuse and threats on social networking sites since the creation of the video policy in 2017.
“There are videos on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and YouTube Red where racism, homophobia and sexism are being aired,” Pinto said.
“This is a problem because, on a global level, it’s happening and we need the companies and the authorities to do something.”
The European Football Association (EFA) has also been targeted with racist abuse, and has had to take action against some players and managers, including former Real Madrid and Barcelona players.
However, the organisation said it had received a lot of support from fans and had also developed a “code of conduct” that covers “the actions of individuals”.
“The code of conduct is an attempt to protect the players and fans, as well as to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for racism,” the EFA said.
As a result of the growing number of videos circulating online, the EFS has launched a campaign called “Play Like a Barcelona”, which aims to tackle racism in Spanish football.
The EFS also said it has made efforts to work more closely with the football clubs in Spain.
It added that it is now looking at how to make the videos “more visible to a broader audience”.