European football looks to Unite Against Racism31 January 2006

Stars of Spanish football will join former players, leading administrators from across European football and campaigners at a major gathering to look at racism in Barcelona this Wednesday (1st February).

The 2nd UEFA-led Unite Against Racism conference will look at the problems of racism in Europe, highlight examples of good work and provide an opportunity for governing bodies to work with campaigners and fan organisations.

Racism in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe will be a focus with the issue of Homophobia discussed for the first time at a major international football conference.

Barcelona President, Joan Laporta will open the conference in the opening plenary and players from FC Barcelona will join a panel at the close of the conference to share their views and experiences of racism.

Clubs including AC Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Dynamo Kiev and Paris Saint Germain will join other leading European clubs, National Associations, Player Unions and League representatives at the conference. Former Brazilian World Cup winner, Leonardo, UEFA referee, Kim Milton Nielsen, Spanish Sports Minister, Jaime Lissavetsky and former Ghana international, Anthony Baffoe will also attend the conference.

The one- day conference will be chaired by William Gaillard, UEFA's communications and public affairs director, and Piara Powar, Kick It Out director and a leading member of the FARE network.

Daniela Conti, from Italian sport for all association, UISP, and a spokesperson for the FARE Network said,

By bringing together delegates from all of UEFA’s member associations we hope that this conference will be the catalyst for much more work to challenge racism.

In all countries , including mine, more can be done. The FARE network believes that through working in partnership we can use the conference to bridge the gaps that exist in understanding and put a greater priority on football’s fight against racism.