The Football Association of Finland (SPL-FBF) and the country’s Veikkausliiga have launched a joint campaign – ‘Red Card for Racism’ – for the 2003 domestic season. The campaign is a response to UEFA’s call for member nations to take an active stance in the fight against racism.
The overall campaign proved to be a huge success. In every Veikkausliiga stadium, the anti-racist theme was presented in an effective manner, and the fight to eliminate racism was given widespread media coverage. The campaign was aimed at transmitting the message that even one incident is one too many. Jokerit captain Heikki Haara has experience of racism and considered the campaign to be very important.
“Fighting against racism is a worthwhile activity in football, as the game is played in every part of the world.”
“Even in Finland, we have foreign players and spectators who have the right to play and enjoy the game just like any other player or spectator. I haven’t noticed any racism on the pitch this season and I’m really glad of that,” said Jokerit captain, Heikki Haara
Message of tolerance
The SPL-FBF and Veikkausliiga wanted to send out a message of tolerance. Football is a game for everyone, irrespective of age, religion or colour. The success of the campaign has given the Finnish football authorities every reason to believe that racism can be kept away from Finland’s football grounds.