Austria's T-Mobile Bundesliga and the Swiss Axpo Super League will take part in anti-racism activities organised by the Football Against Racism in Europe network (FARE) at the weekend. For EURO 2008 co-hosts Switzerland it is the first time they have been involved in the FARE week of action.
Players and match officials will hold up symbolic red cards against racism when the teams line up before kick-off. They will be supported by children in anti-racism T-shirts who will carry a banner bearing the message “Football against Racism” onto the pitch. The highlight of the stadium activities will be when a player from each team reads out a statement against intolerance and for the integrative power of football.
Racism and discrimination have no place in Austrian football grounds. This is why I ask every member of the Bundesliga family to take this week of action as a reason for getting actively and consciously involved in fighting this evil in the future, explained Georg Pangl, a member of the Austrian Bundesliga's executive committee.
For Martin Kallen, chief operating officer of EURO 2008, working to combat racism is all the more important with a view to the forthcoming European Championship finals in Austria and Switzerland (June 7-29).
With the fans embassies and the Unite Against Racism project we aim to ensure that fans are made to feel welcome, whereas violence and racism have no place in and around the stadium.