Madrid conference on discrimination in Spanish football

Madrid based NGO Red Deporte y Cooperación has announced its involvement in the Football People action weeks through the organisation of a conference on ‘Discrimination, racism and inclusion in football’ on the 25 October at the INEF faculty of Madrid’s Complutense University.

The Red Deporte network was formed in 1999, with the aim of supporting and promoting education, health and integration for children and young people in developing countries. They use sport as a mean to promote peace and understanding in areas of conflict and refuge.

‘Discrimination has been played down in Spain’

“We believe in the importance of sport as a basic activity for human and social development. It is with this belief and passion that Red Deporte has carried out projects in Spain and internationally for over thirteen years” explains Director Carlos Carlos de Cárcer.

He continued, “We are now proud to be leading a conference on the issues of racism, intercultural dialogue and inclusion in football in Spain. For many years discrimination in the Spanish football has been played down as a trivial occurrence and viewed as rivalry between fans, while the questions about racism were avoided.

“As an NGO involved in the integration of communities both in Spain and abroad, the issues of discrimination are close to our hearts.”

Experience of Dani Alves

Spain has seen an increase in immigrants from around the world over the past 15 years. Players such as Barcelona defender Dani Alves have talked about their experiences and implied that people avoid discussing the topic, or deny that it is a problem, "At first I was quite shocked, but now I don't give it any importance. I have learned to live with it".

Others like national coach Vincent Del Bosque have told Fare in the past, "We cannot judge people based on their background. To me harmony amongst a group is everything; we cannot allow individuals to be isolated because of their background or race. We must not be cautious in challenging this problem, our future depends on it.”

The conference will contribute to the Fare action weeks by encouraging dialogue and challenge issues of discrimination in football, and celebrating diversity by bringing together academics, practitioners and other interested people to discuss and share best practice.

It will build on a previous conference held by Red Deporte in April, in which a number of specialists discussed current issues of racism in sport.

To attend the event on Friday 25 October please contact Red Deporte through tvahid@redeporte.org.

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