Belgrade clubs unite to fight racism
Three of Belgrade’s top football clubs – including UEFA Champions League participants FK Partizan – have come together to voice their opposition to racism in football. The three clubs, FK Crvena Zvezda, FK Partizan and FK Rad, are among dozens of clubs throughout Europe who are making a contribution to the Action Week against Racism. All three clubs are holding up red cards against racism to fans as their players line up before home matches during the Action Week, which continues until 28 October. Last Friday, Partizan players and FARE officials gathered for a press briefing in which the message was clear – racism on and off the pitch is an evil that must be eliminated.
Dozens of events and activities are under way during a packed week across Europe. Before the German Bundesliga match against Hannover 96 last weekend, BV Borussia Dortmund’s fans presented the anti-racism poster ‘Welcome 2006’ featuring players Christoph Metzelder, Sebastian Kehl, Tomáš Rosický and Evanilson. The poster was on display on the video screen at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion in front of a packed crowd.
This year’s Action Week has seen an explosion of activities combating racism in Eastern Europe. In Romania, the Romanian Football Federation joined forces with the country’s National Council for Combating Discrimination and the FARE network to launch an anti-racism poster that was displayed at all matches in the Romanian First Division.
For the first time, leading Dutch clubs are joining the FARE campaign. Players from PSV Eindhoven and AFC Ajax are showing racism the red card; match programmes give considerable coverage to the issue of racism; and anti-racist film clips are being screened in stadiums.
UEFA EURO 2004™ hosts Portugal will become the 24th European country to be involved in the fourth FARE Action Week. Together with major clubs including UEFA Cup holders and Champions League participants FC Porto, the Portuguese players’ union will organise a series of anti-racist activities in stadiums this coming weekend.
UEFA join in
UEFA’s contribution to the FARE Action Week includes a friendly football match featuring the UEFA staff team and a local multi-ethnic football team from the Geneva-based Africa-Suisse sporting organisation at the Stade de Colovray, opposite UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Wednesday 22 October at 20:15 CET.