Anti-racism initiatives launched in Italy and elsewhere02 December 2005

The response by Marc Zoro has finally triggered a series of debates and initiatives throughout the football world, especially in Italy, but also in other European countries. We hope this is just the start of some new, specific long-term projects in the future.

The Italian Football Association (FICG)
The Italian Football Association (FIGC) has decided that every match – from the Serie A to the lowest amateur league – will begin five minutes later than usual, with the players of both teams unfurling a banner bearing the words “NO to racism” in the centre circle.

Youth initiative in Veneto
The school and youth section of the regional football association wishes to take an even stronger stance and is calling upon school, youth, junior and mini teams to take the field with blackened faces (using ash or coal) and wearing T-shirts with the name André Zoro stuck or pinned on the back.

Treviso fans
The coordinating centre for clubs in Treviso (Centro Coordinamento Treviso Clubs) plans to make banners similar to the ones that players will be displaying on pitches all over Italy. The fan community organised by the province with the teams Treviso Fbc, Benetton Basket, Sisley Volley and Benetton Rugby will equip over 100 boys with a brightly coloured banner, while a blue-and-white mosaic will include the slogan 'Dragons against racism' and some brand new sound sticks. This fan community is determined to take a clear stance against racism and places particular emphasis on values such as respect for the opposition and one's fellow citizens. “In addition to the choreography, which we will also display at matches played by Benetton Basket and Benetton Rugby”, explains Matteo Marconi, spokesman for the Comunica cooperative, “the boys will write sentences against racism on coloured balloons that we will give away to the crowd. Many of them can remember the football match with the 'black faces' and are therefore pleased to be able to make their own contribution inside the stadium, which will be the focal point of what will be a magnificent experience”.

Leiria fans in Portugal
The Frente Leiria Ultras (a group of fans of the first division club União Desportiva de Leiria) have announced that they will be displaying two banners on 10 December: “We are all called Marc Zoro” and “Say no to racism”.