Antirazzisti Mondiali campaign against racism in sport launched in Italy31 October 2006

As part of the Action Week the Italian sports association UISP, the supporters group Progetto Ultrà and the weekly magazine Carta, along with the FARE network, launched a new campaign called 'Antirazzisti Mondiali. Tante tattiche una sola squadra” (Anti-racists of the world. Many game plans, just one team).

The campaign aims to establish a national network that gathers and publicises information on successful anti-racism initiatives involving ethnic minorities and staged in sport by sport. It is about disseminating the “game plan” of the 'Antirazzisti Mondiali' team, thanks to the direct experience of the people concerned and the contacts made, and collectively identifying ways of reproducing these initiatives on both a small and large scale and about building a global community against racism from the bottom up.

The first step saw the unveiling of a new website www.uisp.it/antirazzistimondiali, on which a team metaphorically takes on discrimination, practices and runs the rule over the opposition. In the 'Opposition analysis' section, the sociologist Mauro Valeri explains what is behind the prejudices, labels and racist slogans.

Another aim is to use sport increasingly as an instrument for more integration and enhanced intercultural dialogue. The popularity and language of sport reaches everyone. A series of activities will be staged during the campaign, culminating in the Anti-Racist World Cup (Mondiali Antirazzisti) in July 2007.

To join the 'Anti-racists of the world' you need to organise initiatives and specific action aimed at fostering a peace culture, dialogue and mutual respect. The campaign will strengthen and bring together the various networks and extend the range of their activities.

Filippo Fossati, member of the UISP national committee explains:
“We'd like a team that includes everyone, one that leaves no players on the bench and offers various opportunities for developing friendships ands contacts through sport. A team with a wealth of varied experience that sets out to fight prejudice – beginning with 'racial' prejudice, the worst form of all.”

Progetto Ultrà official Carlo Balestri strikes a similar tone:
“The team we want is ready for the challenge and keen to learn more about others. It plays to learn to appreciate and respect differences and diversity rather than to win. This team is made up of football supporters, i.e. of people who love the game and do not discriminate on the basis of skin colour, even though they wear different-coloured scarves.”

Carta director Marco Calabria has a special wish:
“To use a football metaphor, you could say it's about finding a way past the wall every day. The team we'd like to see is made up of ordinary people who may even have something against tactics and discipline. But the imagination of the ordinary person is precisely what we at Carta are banking on.”