On 24 and 25 June 2009, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 in South Africa provided the platform to deliver a clear statement once again to the world about football's united stance against racism.
Anti-racist message during the semi-finals
Before the kick-off to the two semi-final matches of the tournament, dubbed “Festival of Champions”, the team captains read a declaration to encourage players, officials and fans around the world to say “no to racism”. Both teams and the match officials also posed together with a banner displaying the “Say no to Racism” message as part of the official match protocol.
Pressconference with FIFA and FARE delegates
FIFA hold a pressconference during the Confederations Cup to announce these actions, which have been part of their “Anti-discrimination days”, and talk about future plans and strategies to combat racism in football. Paul Elliott, who played in England, Scotland and Italy during his twelve year football career, spoke at the press conference as an Ambassador for the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.
We have made tremendous progress in the fight against racism, but a great amount of work still needs to be done. There has to be a policy of zero tolerance towards racism, and a sense of collective responsibility among everyone involved. Football can be a wonderful vehicle to bring everyone together, and these Anti-Discrimination Days are a way of laying down a solid basis from which to move forward, he said.
Football for hope – Forum
FARE – delegates including Piara Powar and Bella Bello Bitugu also paricipated in the “Football for Hope” forum which took place during the Confed-Cup in Vaal, South Africa. You will find a report on the forum on this site in the next days.
FARE´s plans for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa
FARE believes the World Cup in South Africa is an important opportunity to underline the diversity of the game, setting a vision for a sport which could be free of discrimination and prejudice. FARE is keen to play its part in Africa’s first World Cup making the tournament a
memorable and uplifting experience for both travelling fans and communities, not
just for the month, but before and after the teams and supporters have left.
Planning has now begun in earnest for the next major tournament on the footballing calendar, the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. FARE will again play a major role in helping the world’s governing bodies highlight and address issues around racism and discrimination, and sending a message of inclusion and diversity to football supporters across the world.
The Football Unites initiative for South Africa 2010 is a collaboration between FARE, Kick It Out and FURD (Football Unites, Racism Divides). Partnerships have been developed with a range of key organisations and individuals in South Africa. Plans include a Football Against Xenophobia campaign with partners like the players’ union SAPFU, a “History of South
African Footballers in Europe” exhibition at the District Six museum in Cape Town, together with a programme of seminars, films, youth exchanges and township events.
Using the experience from 2006
FARE will work with FIFA and the local organising committee to discuss support for the coordinated anti-racist and anti-xenophobic activities before and during the World Cup implementing using the successful template delivered at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. This would include collaborative work with both host and travelling fan embassies, which were well received at EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.