SV Austria Salzburg dedicated their home-coming match on 10th May 2003 against the new champions FK Austria Wien to the fight against racism, together with the FairPlay campaign. 30,000 magazines and posters carrying the slogan Austria Salzburg shows racism the red card were produced. Players entered the field of play with special T-shirts and presented red cards before kick-off.
The match was played in the brand new stadium in Wals-Siezenheim, which will be a venue for the UEFA EURO 2008 championships, jointly hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
The FairPlay stadium action is the first public anti-racist event in Austrian football after the Unite Against Racism conference at Chelsea Village at the beginning of March. Back in the 1990s Salzburg fans were involved in a major racist incidence: In UEFA Cup quarter final against Frankfurt in 1994 more than half of the 48,000 crowd engaged in monkey chanting against Anthony Yeboah of Eintracht Frankfurt. This incidence sparked-off a firmer anti-racist response among Austrian football fans and NGOs.
Salzburg striker Heimo Pfeifenberger, who played in the UEFA Cup finals 1994 against Inter, said:
“At away matches we faced again and again problems, my team-mates from Honduras have been discriminated and booed at. If you are abused like that it get’s under one’s skin and even affects your performance.”