Anti-racist event to kick off Euro 200409 June 2004

On the opening day of UEFA EURO 2004, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, in cooperation with the EU’s European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), will host a lunch reception in Porto. Members of the international media present in Portugal are cordially invited.

With the support of UEFA, the European Union, players and supporter organisations from across the continent a series of activities to help tackle racism and xenophobia at UEFA EURO 2004 will be launched by the FARE network.

Speakers will include Mr. Gilberto Parca Madaíl, President of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and Chairman of the EURO 2004 S. A. and Mr. Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament.

Footballers joining the event include:

  • Portugese legend, Eusebio da Silva Ferreira;
  • Paul Elliott, the former Chelsea, Celtic and Bari defender;
  • Anthony Baffoe, former Ghanaian captain;
  • footballing pioneer, Brendon Batson;
  • players from Champions League winners, FC Porto
  • players from from Boavista FC

The reception will serve a number of purposes, including a look at the activities the FARE network will be organising during the championships under the slogan ‘Football Unites’; a launch of the UEFA-funded fan embassies for the fans of eight countries; and a look back at the achievements of the network over the past few years.

Prevention of Racism at EURO 2004
Football has the power to unite people no matter what their background, language or religion. Yet past major tournaments have repeatedly been marred by racist incidents. During EURO 96 Marcel Desailly was racially abused by an opposing player, while EURO 2000 witnessed attacks on North African immigrants and racist chanting. Past major tournaments have repeatedly been marred by racist incidents.

An international FARE team will therefore be in Portugal to raise awareness of the continuing problem of racism and discrimination in many European leagues. Activities planned by the FARE network in Portugal include:

  • A telephone reporting number (00 351) 966 027 283 available for fans to call and report racism or xenophobia,
  • A tour of footballing venues by a mobile football game – ‘Streetkick’ – accompanied by a team of youth workers to engage fans and local people,
  • A series of fans embassies for the supporters of eight countries (organised by Football Supporters International),
  • A multi-lingual anti-racist fanzine.

The FARE reception in Porto is supported by UEFA and hosted in partnership with the Portuguese Players Union and the EU’s European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. For further information and accreditation for the launch event please contact:
Leon Mann on ++ 44 207 684 4884 in London or Markus Pinter on ++ 43 1 713 35 94-93 at the FARE coordination office in Vienna.