Football Against Racism Grabs Focus

We are all Football People is the message

The Football People Action Weeks kicked-off earlier this week with grassroots activities at the heart of the campaign alongside messages from the highest levels of football in Italy, Slovakia and from UEFA.

This weekend will see the numbers of actions grow momentum to reach more than 40 countries over the next week.

In the streets of Stolac in Boznia-Herzegovina, Haskovo in Bulgaria and Cadiz in Spain activities have begun with young people and football supporters. “We are young, we are different, we are Football People” was the message from ethnic minorities at an event held by the Hope Association in Haskovo.

In Italy, two young players, Giuseppe Rossi and Claudio Marchisio showed their support for the period as the Azzuri prepared for their Euros qualifier with Northern Ireland in Pescara.

Mlada Garda tournament (c) The Daily

In Slovakia national players Karim Guede and Filip Sebo became ambassadors of the campaign, joining a press conference in Bratislava with Ludia prodi razismu. The annual tournament in Slovakia will take place on Sunday at Mlada Garda, Bratislava, with The Daily taking part in the Bratislava Academicals team.

Message from Platini

Meanwhile the leader of European football, UEFA President Michel Platini offered his support, “I am proud to be part of the ‘Football People’ campaign which highlights UEFA’ s commitment to tackling discrimination in football in partnership with the FARE network for over 10 years.

“We have worked side by side with the FARE network on what is a central pillar in European football and will continue to strive towards a respect for diversity in the game.”

The Action Weeks will feature actions by fans, community groups, players, clubs, national associations and local authorities in a united stand against discrimination and a celebration of the diversity of the European game.

The activities, run by members of the FARE Network, will include exhibitions, panel discussions, fan choreographies, football tournaments and for the first time, a flash mob. All activities will be geared towards tackling exclusion and sending out an anti- discrimination message.

Kick-off activities

In Boznia-Herzegovina, the Orhideja Stolac Association in the southern city of Stolac has kicked-off a youth tournament bringing young people together. Stolac is a city where children from the Croat and Muslim communities go to separate schools and rarely take part in activities together.

The Hope Association in Haskovo, Bulgaria have put on a range of activities including an exhibition and football tournament for 11-14 year olds from minority backgrounds under their own slogan “We are young, we are different, we are Football People”.

In the Andulucian city of Cadiz in Spain Colectivo CEPA have begin preparations for a choreography in Carranza Stadium and held a Street Soccer tournament in public spaces.

Weekend highlights

Highlights of action during this weekend will include activities at top- level matches in Austria, England, France, Greece, Germany, Poland, Scotland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Spain and Wales.

At the grassroots level, activities that support the Roma community will take place across Eastern and Central Europe, with ethnic and national minorities and their place within football also be the theme of actions across the continent.

Other highlights include:

• In Poland the Association of Former Players will be holding a ‘Poland for All’ event with young with the Never Again Association and the Polish Foreign Ministry

• The Policy Centre will organise a flash mob with residents from Bucharest re-creating a famous match of the Romanian national team of the 1980’s to highlight the role of ethnic minorities in the development of football

• In the Balkans the BAAP project will support activities in Macedonia and Serbia in addition to activities in Croatia led by the White Angels fan group of NK Zagreb

• Activities against homophobia will take place in England, Croatia, Macedonia, Macedonia, France and Germany.

• In Spain a high-level conference on inclusion and education featuring national coach Vincent Del Bosque, Freddie Kanoute and FA President Villar Ilona will be organised in Malaga by Foundacion ExtraTime

Next week matches of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League (18/19 and 20 October) will be themed as part of the Action Weeks with activities at 40 games.



  1. Trust the Slovaks to plain cheat ? ……well gotta start the week right eh ?

    So who won ?

    1. Ruzemberok 1st league team beat some 2nd league team 5-0 in the final.

  2. So who won …how did the EIC team do ??? 🙂

    1. Thanks for the interest George. We didn’t win anything because they had professional 6-a-side teams playing in it from CR, Hungary and Slovakia (1st league team from Ruzemberok, which won it in the end). Still, we were happy with how we played and a great day had by everyone.

  3. In one sense George, I think your description would more accurately fit what went on 10 years or so ago.

    Progress has been slow since then, just as it was in England in the late 70s/early 80s, but it’s also been quite evident. I think a lot of the credit for that goes to players like Guede, Koro-Kone, Bello etc, who’ve won over the more neanderthal elements at Slovan, Trnava and Zilina respectively. I’d accept that this is only a thin veneer, though, and these ‘fans’ are keeping their ‘views’ in check rather than renouncing them completely.

    I would also like to see incidents of racism reported in the press rather than swept under the carpet. Last season, for example, Slovan’s Bagayoko was treated to the monkey noises by 20-30 Zilina fans. The next day, I looked through several papers and on the net for reports of the incident but found nothing.

    Events like the one described in the article are great. So are the anti-racism logans you often see displayed at matches. But they don’t mean a lot unless real incidents are reported and the perpetrators dealt with.

  4. Yes this is all very nice , and I love the jingles , ‘we are …. etc’ but this is like trying to teach the informed and educated to suck eggs ..and not really addressing the real problem , the brainless moronic yobs that go the football matches . ie Those topless, beer chested , Slovan or Trnava Ultra fans, that believe it is all macho and so nationalistic Slovak, to throw banana , make monkey gestures and make loud grunting noises at coloured, or ethnic players when on the football pitch.

    Radical I know , but if perhaps if we were too in public, beheaded a few of the offenders at half time , then perhaps they would start to reshape their own heads , rather than keep loosing them ?

    Just a thought …..?

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