On Wednesday, 26 May, the final of the UEFA Champions League takes place at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The flagship European club football event will again highlight the fight against racism in football. FARE partner Schalker Fan-Initiative, in association with the City of Gelsenkirchen, will be organising a number of activities at an allday, anti-racist street party being staged for supporters attending the match. The day is set to be a colourful mix of music and fun to be enjoyed by both sets of fans. A page in the official match programme will also be dedicated to the ‘Unite against racism’ campaign jointly run by UEFA and the Football Agaisnt Racism in Europe (FARE) network.
Local Schalke supporters will be producing a bilingual leaflet calling on FC Porto and AS Monaco fans to celebrate together in a spirit of fair play. The leaflet will also contain an antiracist message. Additional anti-racist material by FARE and the Schalker Fan-Initiative will also be on offer at a stand. A big screen will be set up to show resources produced by the Schalker Fan-Initiative, including a film about the annual anti-racist World Cup in Montecchio, Italy, and an educational CD-ROM in which stars from German football take a stand against racism. Fans without a ticket will also be able to watch the match together later.
UEFA’s information leaflet for purchasers of tickets for the final also focused on the campaign against racism in European football. Under the heading 'Football against racism', it wrote: “FC Schalke 04 is at the forefront of the fight against racism in Germany. In 1994 it became the first club to include an anti-racism paragraph in its statutes. In addition, its directors have worked closely with the Schalke Fan Initiative and the FARE network (Football Against Racism in Europe)”. The Arena AufSchalke served as the venue for the FARE grass-roots conference in February 2004 as part of FC Schalke 04’s centenary celebrations.
UEFA also sent out a powerful message via its ‘Unite against racism’ perimeter advertising at last week’s UEFA Cup final between Valencia CF and Olympique de Marseille in Gothenburg.