Football Association of Ireland Unites Against Racism19 October 2006

The Football Association of Ireland have launched a fortnight of action against racism in Ireland in association with UEFA’s partner in the campaign against racism, Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).

The FAI have encouraged all members of the association to make strong efforts to contribute actively to the programme of the fortnight by designing and implementing projects focusing on encouraging more people from minority ethnic communities to get involved in the game.

The annual FARE Action Week has become Europe’s major anti-racism campaign in football. This year will involve lobbying activists by supporters, players, clubs, associations, minority organisations, anti-discriminatory groups, youth centres, schools and the sports media.
Participation by ethnic minorities and migrants, inclusion of women and girls in the game, and action against homophobia in football are on the agenda.

Within the eircom League, projects which promote inclusion of all nationalities and minority groups are well established. Eircom League clubs such as Drogheda United, Galway United and Shamrock Rovers have formed partnerships with Show Racism the Red Card to demonstrate their total commitment to anti-racism while Bohemians Football Club have translated their website into seven different languages to reflect their growing fan base.

With the increasing migrant population in Ireland, the FAI have formed a Football Intercultural Advisory Group (FIAG) which promotes a development of an intercultural society free of racism and discrimination through the medium of football in Ireland and the recently appointed Intercultural Programme coordinator, Mr. Des Tomlinson will be overseeing this for the FAI.

Speaking at a photocall to launch FARE in Merrion Square today, FAI Intercultural Programme Coordinator, Des Tomlinson stated, “In Ireland at present, there are many challenges ahead in terms of integration and social inclusion but I know from experience that football can provide real opportunities to address these issues.”

He added, “Football is a world language and participating in the game gives people from all walks of life real potential to integrate locally and be part of a global community.”

For further information, please contact:

Des Tomlinson
FAI Intercultural Programme Coordinator
des.tomlinson@fai.ie
P: +353 1 7037 571