Action Week in Congo – against war and every form of discrimination02 November 2006

This year, thanks to the precious contribution of FIFA, a number of African organisations took part in the Action Week. An event staged by the Congolese organisation LISPED (Ligue Sportive pour la Promotion et la defence des droits de l'Homme), for example, which was designed to raise public awareness for the fight against all forms of discrimination, proved a major success with the audience and the media. The event focused on discrimination along racial and tribal lines and against people with a physical disability. LISPED would like to import the FARE model to Africa to foster the creation of a network against racism in sport.

The first event that took place was a press conference on 21 October that was attended by journalists, politicians, sports celebrities, children and scouts. Surrounded by children from the Tutsi tribe and other national groups, Alain Marengo, a lawyer and president of LISPED, explained why it was so important to fight racism and expressed his wish that all the other countries of Africa would follow the example set by this initiative.

A meeting staged on 24 October went into more detail. Those in attendance talked about sportsmen and women and how the Catholic Church helps them to understand that the fight against racism and violence in sport has the utmost priority. A day later a highly successful game of football took place between two teams whose players with physical disabilities – many of which will be a result of the many wars in the region. The victorious team, which won the game by two goals to claim a small prize, was made up of young people from the socially disadvantaged districts of Masina, Ndjili and Kimbanseke.

At the matches played in the Congolese Football League LISPED also displayed the following banners: “Football Against Racism in Europe, in Africa, in RDC” and “Autour du Sport nous voulons la paix – for the games we need peace -LISPED”.
(layla mousa)