European clubs pledge to include anti-racism clauses10 July 2009

The European Club Association, UNESCO and FC Barcelona have joined forces for the inclusion of anti-discrimination and anti-racism clauses in new contracts with football players.

The 140 European football club members of the ECA (European Club Association) have signed a declaration reasserting their commitment to include anti-racist and anti-discrimination clauses in new contracts with football players.

This declaration follows an invitation by FC Barcelona to promote such clauses.

The idea of an anti-racism clause in athletes' contracts emerged from the project “Youth Voices against Racism”, an initiative jointly carried out by FC Barcelona and UNESCO and implemented through the European Coalition of Cities against Racism.

The results and recommendations of the project were presented at the European Parliament.

ECA members intend to promote the inclusion of such clauses in the contracts to be signed as of today with football players.

The President of FC Barcelona and vice-chairman of the ECA, Joan Laporta, chaired the event, that was also attended by Sergei Lazarev, Chief Struggle against Discrimination and Racism Section of UNESCO, Michele Centenaro, General Secretary of the ECA, and the former FC Barcelona player and anti-racism activist, Lilian Thuram.

We have always rejected any form of intolerance both in stadiums and on the field, and we see football as an extremely efficient tool to fight violence and racism, and to promote integration in our society.
I strongly believe in the power of football to fight racism and discrimination
, said Laporta.

We cannot do this work alone. We need powerful partners, such as Barcelona and the ECA, said Sergei Lazarev.

FC Barcelona supports activities of the FARE network and hosted the UEFA-FARE “Unite Against Racism” conference in 2006 and the “Queer Football Fans Meeting” organised by FARE partner EGLSF in February 2009.