The 11th FARE Action Week against Racism and Discrimination in European Football gets fully underway this weekend, with hundreds of actions taking place all over Europe. The 11th Action Week will take place from the 14 – 26 October 2010 and will reach out to 40 European countries.
The shocking events this week in Genoa – when Serbian extremist fans rioted in a premeditated plan to force the abandonment of the game – reinforces the need for European football to take a firm stand against hatred and violence. The FARE Action Week provides such an opportunity, with fans being at the fore in opposing discrimination at their clubs and wider society.
FARE campaigns against homophobia
This year, to specifically address the issue of homophobia, FARE partner European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) have produced a special poster and have administered special action grants for LGBT groups. This poster can be downloaded at
Many gay and lesbian groups have this year joined the FARE Action Week, such as the London Titans, who are celebrating their fifth birthday with a tournament on 16th October, with 14 teams taking part from all over the UK. The teams are gay or gay-friendly but a lot of the teams also have straight players. The tournament will be held in Old Deer Park in Richmond, London.
Meanwhile on the same day in Germany, at the FC St. Pauli v 1.FC Nürnberg game there will be a day raising awareness of discrimination, especially sexism and homophobia, with players warming up in special t-shirts, a cooperation with gay and lesbian fan club Queer Football Fans, distribution of flyers and tannoy announcements.
UEFA plays its part
As part of its ‘Unite Against Racism’ campaign, UEFA will use its premier club competitions, the UEFA Champions League (19 – 20 October) and the UEFA Europa League (21 October), to make its stand against racism during the FARE Action Week.
Strong support of European top leagues
Also top national leagues across Europe are showing their support for the FARE Action Week dedicating all matches in their leagues on the forthcoming two weekends. Starting in the Austrian Bundesleague on Friday 15th October with a new campaign challenging stereotypes, the top leagues in England, France, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales have coordinated unified activities. The Serbian FA will use the Serbian Super League to make its stand against racism in cooperation with the Balkan Alpe Adria Project (BAAP). At all 8 matches played between 16 and 17 October and at the Belgrade derby between Red Star and Partizan on the following weekend, each team will show racism the red card.
This year the New Israel Fund (NIF) will organise three events this weekend at the beginning of the FARE AW in Israel:
14th October: A panel discussion will be held about racism in football in Petach Tikvah, a city of 200,000 near Tel Aviv which has two Premier League teams Hapoel and Maccabi. Leading Arab and Jewish players will answer questions from Arab and Jewish youth from the region. On 16th October fans will stand in Tel Avivs Hyde Park and talk about racism and discrimination in football and the need to fight the phenomenon. A pre-match anti-racism event will be held before the Premier League game between MS Ashdod and Hapoel Beer Sheva. Players will come onto the pitch wearing Kick It Out shirts together with young boys from all the country’s population groups. The captains of both sides will make statements against racism.
Anti-racism concerts in Poland
A series of rock concerts against racism will take place, organised by anti-racist groups in combination with football tournaments and football-related events in Leszno, Wągrowiec, Piła and Gliwice. Stowarzyszenie Aktywnosci Spolecznej Mlyn are organising a big tournament from 15 – 24 October called “Show Intolerance The Red Card” for more than 150 people. Anti-racist leaflets and banners will be distributed, a minimum of 10 mural walls will be designed on the issue of anti-racism, billboards on anti-racism in football at second league club Stomil Olsztyn OKS 1945 will be displayed followed by workshops and debates on racism and intolerance in sport.
Howard Holmes, chairperson of the FARE Interim Board and Director of Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) commented:
The FARE Action Week, now in its eleventh year, provides a key focus every October for groups to challenge all forms of discrimination in football. The vast majority of the activities have been organised by grassroots groups, often made up of fans determined to offer a welcome to minorities, and to say that discrimination on grounds of race, gender, sexuality, religion or disability is not acceptable in football as in wider society.
FARE list of Action Week activities:
Click here http://farenet.org/default.asp?intPageID=180
Download the 2010 Action Week poster: