Peruvian government launches campaign to address racism in football06 June 2014

Ananti-racismcampaignaimingatcounteringdiscriminatorybehaviourinPeruvianfootballhasbeenlaunched,on05June,bythecountry’sMinistryofCulture,andwillseeaseriesofawareness-raisingactivitiesbeheldthroughoutthe2014footballseason.

Following three discriminatory incidents in the Peruvian premier league and one in the Copa Libertadores since the beginning of the year, the country’s governing and football authorities launched the second edition of the ‘Ponte Alerta Contra el Racismo en el Fútbol’ (Be aware of Racism in Football) to address the problem.

“We need to build a stronger conscience to fight racism.” said the president of the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF), Manuel Braga, at the launching event.

“There is a shared responsibility in this process. If we do our part in raising awareness and sanctioning discriminatory behaviour, and the media do their bit by reporting these cases and the campaign, then the impact will be bigger.” he added.

The campaign, first held in 2013, will consist of educational initiatives, including discussions on racism and discrimination in schools organised cooperation with premier league clubs and players; informative sessions for referees and other match officials on the topic; anti-discrimination activities in stadiums; and an anti-racism match.

Speaking on the campaign’s goals at grassroots level, the vice-minister for cultural diversity, Patricia Balbuena, said: “that’s where we need to start in order to build a society free of discrimination”.

‘Ponte Alerta Contra el Racismo en el Fútbol’ is an initiative based on six action points, including the development of preventive and repressive mechanisms, such as sanctions; the development of awareness-raising initiatives on match days; the training of players, referees, match officials and others; educational initiatives in schools and debates with fans; and cooperation with players in promotional events.

The campaign is backed up by the Peruvian football authorities, including the Player’s Union and the Professional Football league, along with the premier league clubs Alianza Lima, Sporting Cristal and Universitario Deportes.

This year’s activities will kick-off on Saturday (07 June), marking the start of the 2014 Torneo Descentralizado, the top division of the country’s football.