The FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) Network has received the prestigious “Free Your Mind Award” at the MTV Awards in Barcelona. Barcelona stars Patrick Kluivert, Michael Reiziger, Patrik Andersson, Thiago Motta and Fabio Rochemback presented the award to Piara Powar, from England’s anti-racism group, Kick It Out, and Carlo Balestri, of Progetto Ultra in Italy; both on the behalf of FARE.
The Award is presented each year to an individual or organisation that has made an outstanding achievement in the battle against intolerance and prejudice. FARE joins an illustrious list of winners of the Free Your Mind Award, such as U2 singer Bono, Amnesty International and Greenpeace.
By giving this award, MTV hope to raise awareness of social issues and the much-publicised problems with racism in football. The award is recognition of the campaigning achievements of FARE members.
“It is a great honour for FARE to receive the Free Your Mind Award. The work of the network will be greatly boosted by this award. It will be particularly welcomed by the work of the great many grassroots groups striving for equality by challenging racism in football across Europe.”
“At a time when problems of racism and prejudice are at the forefront of the consciousness of many in Europe the recognition accorded through this and other awards the network has received of late, will form the basis of renewed campaigning and engagement with young people and marginalised communities across the continent.” Piara Powar, FARE.
“We work actively everyday to defend the values of the popular culture of the fan and to struggle against racism. For this goal we work with the grassroots and we are very pleased to receive an awards from such a big television, which speak to the youngsters.”
“We hope that this would be also the occasion to establish new forms of co-operation, for spreading our messages to all the young people” Carlo Balestri, Director of Progetto Ultrà.