Vienna hosts Networking Against Racism in European Football seminar20 April 2012

The first European anti-racist football network “Football Against Racism in Europe – FARE” was founded at the European Commission sponsored seminar “Networking Against Racism in European Football” in February 1999 in Vienna.

More than 40 different organisations including anti-racist sport projects, fan clubs, players unions, football associations and ethnic minority groups from 13 European countries affirmed their commitment to fight racism and all forms of discrimination throughout football.

The FARE work programme during the years 2002-2004 was sponsored by the EU´s Community Action Programme against Discrimination and took the first practical steps to address discrimination in sports. With the support of the European Commission and the entire football family, FARE continued to make a positive and lasting impact on the problem across Europe. Since then FARE speakers have been invited to speak several times in front of the European Parliament on the topic of racism in football, and work closely with MEPs on a national basis.

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In 2006 the European Parliament adopted a written declaration condemning all forms of racism linked to football, both on and off the field. A written declaration on racism in football was signed by 423 members of the European Parliament, the highest number ever of signatories for a written declaration in the Parliament. Recognising the serious racist incidents that have occurred in football matches across Europe, the EP strongly condemned all forms of racism at football matches, both on and off the field and called on all those with a high profile in football to speak out regularly against racism. In addition, the EP also called on national football associations, leagues, clubs, players’ unions and supporters’ groups to apply the UEFA’s guidelines on best practice, such as the UEFA Ten-Point Plan of Action. The MEPs suggested stopping the game in the event of any racist abuse and urged football authorities to introduce ‘sporting sanctions’ such as disqualifying football clubs with problems on racism from national and international competitions.