The Authorities in Lisbon praised the success of the “StreetKick” project today, as having had a positive impact on the atmosphere in the lead up to the England v Croatia game yesterday evening. A FARE initiative, the project was operated by the Sheffield based group and FARE member, Football Unites Racism Divides.
The inflatable footballing game, “StreetKick”, has been touring Portugal as part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network's activities as a means to engage fans and distribute information on anti- racism in football.
Lisbon Assistant Police Chief, Mr Neto, and the Mayor’s office were full of praise for the FARE sponsored activities that took place in the Praca da Figueiras that joined onto the main Rossio Square in central Lisbon.
Amongst the activities the game helped to build a friendly relationship between the Croatian and England fans and there were a number of games between the rival supporters. The game attracted over 400 people who played and watched the games in good spirits.
Lisbon Assistant Police Chief, Mr Neto, commented,
“We were reluctant to give the game permission to be set up in one of the main squares of Lisbon as in our eyes it was a security risk. However, we were persuaded by FARE representatives that this type of activity can have a harmonious impact on fan behaviour and we feel we made the right call as StreetKick was well received.”
Howard Holmes, Co-ordinator of Sheffield based Football Unites who have been running the game throughout the tournament, today said,
“The StreetKick game has demonstrated the unique power of football in bringing together people in a celebratory atmosphere through a common love of the game.
While travelling around Portugal with StreetKick we’ve also been tremendously encouraged by the presence of so many black and Asian fans following the England team.”