Action Week under way23 October 2004

Over the coming week (22 Oct. 2004), the fifth FARE Action Week against Racism and Discrimination in European football, will peak with a series of high-profile and grass-roots events.

In line with the emphasis of the FARE network to campaign in Central and Eastern Europe for a football culture free of racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination, various national associations, clubs and human-rights NGOs will stage action.

Romanian top clubs get involved
The National Council for Combating Discrimination in Romania continues it’s “Show racism the red card” campaign at 1st league matches. At stadium entrances big posters with the slogan “We are all DIFFERENT, we are all EQUAL and we are all a TEAM! We fight against discrimination! Join us!” welcome the spectators. At the matches also announcements against racism are made. Today premier league leader FC National Bucharest will get behind the FARE Action Week: Players of premier league will raise red cards against racism before they play Politehnica Iasi. City rivals Rapid and Dinamo Bucharest, who are second- and third-placed, will follow with red carding action during their clash on Sunday. The symbolic action in the stadiums is accompanied by awareness-raising workshops in schools and a drawing competition.

Action in Slovakia and Hungary
In Slovakia the Football Association will join the FARE Action Week for the second time. At all matches of the 12th round of the Superleague kids wear “Show racism the red card” T-shirts and present a banner saying “Football is a game for all”. The players of all 10 clubs show racism the red card and the fans are informed by PA announcements.

On the grass-root level the Mahatma Ghandi Human Rights Organisation in Hungary are using football as a tool for intercultural dialogue. They organise a series of football matches in Budapest, involving African Stars FC, who became second in this years edition of the Mondiali Antirazzisti in Italy, the Croatian minority team Red Lions and other Hungarian teams. The matches are accompanied by lectures on the African history and minorities and a rich cultural programme.

Fans take responsibility in Denmark
In Denmark, where several racist incidences occurred in previous football season, fans will become active to create awareness of the need for respect for the diversities in stadia.
FC Copenhagen fans have published an anti-racist statement and published it on various fan-sites and on the official club-homepage. At the home tie against Viborg FF (24. 10.) they will hand out anti-racist stickers. Last week-end the initiative “Brondby Fans Mod Racisme” have distributed flyers and players cards with anti-racism messages at the match of Brondby Copenhagen against Odense BK. They have also set up the web-site www.fansmodracisme.dk featuring information in 6 languages.

Entire Austrian league on board
For the first time the Austrian Bundesliga dedicates all ten matches of the 1st and the 2nd league to the fight against racism and discrimination. The kids accompanying the players on to the field will wear “Kick Racism” T-shirts and announcements are read out in all stadia. In addition, SK Rapid together with FairPlay. Different Colours One Game will organises a FairPlay stadium action at the 270th derby between Rapid and current leader FK Austria Vienna: Both teams will display anti-racism banners, an anti-racism spot will be shown on the vidiwall and 10.000 copies of the match programme with a anti-racism pull out will be distributed for free.

Football Unites in the Netherlands and in England
Following the major racist incidence in Dutch football last week, PSV Eindhoven will
send out a strong anti-racism message when they play Ajax Amsterdam on Sunday. Children will hold a banner saying “PSV against racism” during line-up and messages will feature in the match day programme and on the vidiwall.

In Sheffield workers from FARE partner Football Unites Racism Divides will distributed anti-racist posters and fanzines prior to Sheffield United's match against Plymouth on 23 October. The players will warm up in Kick It Out T-shirts and anti-racist messages will be displayed on the scoreboard throughout the match. During half-time, a match will be played on the pitch featuring ethnically diverse youngsters who have been coached by Football Unites.