Finnish stadiums join campaign to be discrimination-free

Stadiums around Finland are joining a new nation-wide campaign aimed at combating all forms of discrimination, bullying and harassment.

The campaign Discrimination-Free Zone enables organisations and work communities to declare their commitment to the principle of non-discrimination.

Declaring to be a discrimination-free zone means opposition to discrimination, addressing the problem, and recognising equality between human beings. As many as 1,000 organisations in different parts of Finland have already declared themselves discrimination-free zones.

“We wanted to challenge stadiums to participate in the work against discrimination. By declaring to be free from discrimination, a stadium sends a clear message that everyone irrespective of their ethnic background, age, functional capacity or sexual orientation is welcome to the stadium. Everyone has the right to enjoy and engage in sports in an encouraging atmosphere,” said Ilari Äijälä from the Fare partner organisation Finnish Multicultural Sports Federation (Fimu).

The federation is one of the organisations belonging to the campaign network, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice.

The first stadiums that have declared themselves discrimination-free are Veritas Stadium in Turku and Harju Stadium in Jyväskylä. They made the declaration in June.

During this autumn, the following stadiums will join the group of Discrimination-Free Stadiums: Lahti Stadium, Central stadium in Rovaniemi, Sauvonsaari Stadium in Kemi, Telia 5G Areena in Helsinki, Elisa Stadium in Vaasa and Savon Sanomat Areena in Kuopio.

“These stadiums challenge the audience and athletes to promote good sportsmanship and to intervene in negative jeering and name-calling. Sports have traditionally brought people with different backgrounds together, and this is something worth holding on to,” said Katriina Nousiainen, coordinator of the Discrimination-Free Zone campaign from the Ministry of Justice.

From Finland Today

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