African football calls for action on racism18 January 2006

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Issa Hayatou, has called for Europe to do more to stamp out racism in football. Talking at the CAF congress in Cairo, he also asked European clubs to free up Africa's players to play for their countries.

“The fight against racial discrimination is never over. The news we have been getting regularly, notably from Europe, obliges us to be extremely vigilant,” he said.

Direct call
In a direct call to FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Lennart Johansson, Hayatou said, “Help us. Make sure that those responsible for racist acts are unmasked and condemned, and … prevented from highlighting differences. It is down to you to act firmly to safeguard our most precious possession – football.”

The fight goes on
Meanwhile UEFA, in their continuing battle to combat racism, are due to hold their second “Unite Against Racism” conference in Barcelona in a couple of week’s time. The first such conference, held in spring 2003 at Chelsea was a fantastic success. Europe’s FA’s and influential football and political figures have been invited to this latest conference, to examine the problem of racism and learn practical measures that they can take to eradicate it from the game.