First UEFA Europa League Final sends out anti-racism message12 May 2010

Tonight‘s first UEFA Europa League final between Club Atlético de Madrid and Fulham FC in Hamburg marks another milestone in the fight against discrimination in European football. UEFA, Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) and the international players’ union FIFPro will jointly send out a clear „No to racism“ message.

FARE‘s partnership with UEFA and FIFPro is essential to the fight against discrimination in our sport and in European society. FARE‘s involvement in the Europa League began in October during FARE Action Week, the annual two-week awareness-raising programme which takes place in almost 40 European countries. All 24 matches on Matchday 3 were dedicated to the initiative.

UEFA Europa League joined FARE Action Week
People‘s attention was drawn to the subject by means of announcements in newspapers, giant video screens with the “Unite Against Racism” logo and a 30-second “No to racism” clip that was shown before kick-off and during the half-time break. Mascots carried the logo onto the pitch next to the players, children accompanied the players onto the field wearing “Unite Against Racism” on their chests and the team captains showed their support by wearing blue and yellow captain‘s armbands bearing the logo and slogan. The message was loud, colourful and clear.

Football gives us a vehicle that can directly reach and include all sections
of society, regardless of people‘s backgrounds or where they live. Clear messages are a vital way of drawing people‘s attention to the call for greater respect and diversity
, says Piara Powar, director of FARE partner Kick It Out.

After today‘s final whistle, however, the work will not be completed. Together with UEFA and FIFPro FARE is already preparing different initiatives for the future, with the aim of making football in Europe more open and accessible.

Special fan leaflet highlights partnership
UEFA has produced a special fan leaflet which addresses the supporters of both teams. In an anti-racism message directed at fans, UEFA states:

There is still a lot to do: from the integration of ethnic minorities to greater diversity in club boardrooms. With FARE‘s support, UEFA and FIFPro will continue to broaden their efforts and fight all forms of discrimination which, as well as racism, also particularly includes combating homophobia in football.

With your support, UEFA, FIFPro and FARE will be able to ensure that diversity
is respected, implemented and organised throughout football, something for which we are wholeheartedly striving.