6000 fans expected for Anti-Racist World Cup06 July 2004

The 8th edition of the annual Mondiali Antirazzisti (Anti-Racist World Cup) is set to kick-off on Thursday, 8 July. Over the week-end 168 teams representing 40 countries and more than 6.000 participants will gather in the small Italian town of Montecchio in Italy for five days of football, music and action against discrimination.

The friendly 5-a-side multicultural football tournament is organised by Progetto Ultrà and UISP, both founding members of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network; together with Istoreco.

This year the tournament is divided into 28 groups, each composed of 6 teams, all playing a total of 483 matches on the 14 mini-sized football pitches. Almost half of the teams are mixed (women and men) and a small number are entirely comprised of women. Ultrà fan groups and supporters’ clubs from many of Europe’s most prominent football clubs’ have teams entered in the tournament.

Antiracist Square
The Piazza Antirazzista (Antiracist Square) will act as the central meeting point among all participants. To help exchange ideas and experience, groups are encouraged to display campaign materials such as exhibitions, photos, t-shirts, stickers and banners in the square. The Piazza Antirazzista is also scheduled to host several debates and meetings. On the Saturday, FARE have organised a discussion to be attended by Paul Elliot, former Chelsea and Bari defender.

The Mondiali has the support of Chelsea and Holland defender Mario Melchiot who declared earlier:
“The anti-racist World Cup is a great idea and one I’m more than happy to support. It’s great when the game can be used to encourage everyone to come together and mix”.

As well as playing football together, the fans, migrant groups and young people will also enjoy a rich cultural programme featuring live concerts and a spectacular street parade on Friday night accompanied by artists, fireworks and drumming.

Support for Social Projects
Since its inauguration in 1997 the Mondiali Antirazzisti has lent support to some outstanding social initiatives. This year the Mondiali is backing “El Estadio del Bae” and “Sport sotto l’Assedio”. The Mondiali uses Fair-Trade balls for all matches, setting the standard for other sports competitions to follow. Additionally, through careful planning and recycling, this year’s event will be the most environmentally sensitive yet.

This years' edition of the Anti-Racist World Cup receives financial support from the European Commission (Anti-Discrimination Programme), UEFA, the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, the municipality of Reggio Emilia and Montecchio,
CGIL Reggio Emilia, Coopsette and Unieco.