Organised in the format of a roundtable under the name ‘Participatory methods for combating racism through football in Romania’, the gathering discussed the damaging effect of discriminatory behaviour on the football culture and agreed to outline an overarching strategy, including preventive measures and educational actions, to address the problem.
During two hours participants including the Interethnic Relations Department, the Professional Football League and the British Council discussed the roots of discrimination in football and Romanian society.
Taking the specific context of Romania into account, Fare Programmes Coordinator Claudia Krobitzsch suggested a series of actions which included the development of a national plan for football; encouragement for clubs to develop their own programmes; to establish dialogue with fans and encourage self-policing; and, to develop partnerships with organisations that can support the plan, which would also help monitor and assess the work undertaken.
Over the upcoming weeks, the attendees will start to define the nation-wide programme, which will be launched in March 2016 and chaired by the Fare member Policy Centre for Roma and Minorities.
The initiative, held in the headquarters of the Romanian FA, in Bucharest, in partnership with Policy Centre for Roma and Minorities, follows a long-term partnership between the two organisations to promote the social inclusion of Roma and other ethnic minorities through football in vulnerable neighbourhoods of the capital.