Football documentary addresses racism in Italy

An Italian documentary is using football to explore and raise awareness of racism and discrimination within the country’s society, by highlighting the impact the game can have in integrating and uniting people.

The documentary ‘Il Piccolo Calciatore’, supported by Fare and the Italian Football Players’ Association (AIC), tells the story of Nigerian descent 12 year-old Samuel, who lives in the small village of Veneto, near Verona, Northern Italy.

It follows Samuel’s struggles to play in the village’s team and become a football player, and tries to demystify the country's issues regarding the inclusion of ethnic minorities in sport and society at large.

The film’s plot is based on Roberto Urbani's, the documentary director, experiences as a child:

"I remember being in my car, driving home from Rome to Verona and during the trip, I do not know why, my mind went back to when, as a child, I used to play football. Then, I remembered that in my team there was a little black boy and how he struggled to feel integrated.”

“So I thought it would be interesting and engaging to study, how the situation is nowadays, more than 10 years later." he added.

The launch event, held on Friday 23 May, at the San Zeno Onlus Foundation, in Verona, featured the screening of the documentary’s promo and excerpts, and a panel discussion with the director and the AIC’s president, Damiano Tommasi.

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