The national teams of Austria and Turkey will show support for European football's anti-racism campaign at tonight's friendly match at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna.
Both teams and the match officials will show racism the red card in a ceremony before the match which aims to demonstrate that racism and intolerance have no place in football. The two captains Andreas Ivanschitz (Austria) and Tuncay Şanlı (Turkey) will wear armbands bearing the expression “United Against Racism”, while the teams will be escorted on to the pitch by children bearing two banners with the message “Football Against Racism” and wearing “Show Racism The Red Card” T-shirts. Stadium announcements will also press home the anti-racist message.
In addition, the special television spot – which was shown at UEFA EURO 2008™ in Austria and Switzerland this summer, and which is also now a feature of this season's UEFA Champions League games – will be shown on the giant stadium screen (click here for more details). The evening's activities round up the recent Action Week staged by the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network – UEFA's partner in the fight against racism.
FK Austria Wien forward Rubin Okotie makes his full international debut for Austria tonight, and supports the campaign. “Football is the most popular sport in the world and unites all cultures and religions,” he says. “Racism should actually play no part in the game, but unfortunately it still occasionally does, so we must all join forces to combat [racism] with positive campaigns. Racism and hate do not belong on the football field.”
'Peace, love and friendship'
“Football is a game for everyone, in which language, religion or origins play no role,” adds Tuncay Şanlı. “We all follow the same goals in football. We all cherish the beautiful and pure things in football. We are a team playing together to win, but we also have the mission to transmit values such as peace, love and friendship.”