Unite against racism! This is the motto of the action being launched against xenophobia and discrimination in football at every match taking place in the Austrian Bundesliga (Week 15) and 1st Division (Week 16) this weekend (21 – 23 October). The action is being coordinated by the campaign group FairPlay. Viele Farben. Ein Spiel with the support of the Austrian Bundesliga.
Austria's players and clubs identify with the aims behind the European week of action being organised by the FARE network on 13 – 25 October 2005. At all ten games in the T-Mobile Bundesliga and the Red Zac Erste Liga the players will be accompanied onto the pitch by children wearing T-shirts saying “Fair play – unite against racism”, and the teams will then hold up red cards with the message “Show racism the red card”. All 20 clubs will hand out postcards showing the teams with banners against xenophobia. Both home and away teams are joining in the action.
A message welcoming all fans regardless of their skin colour, country of origin or cultural identity will be read out at every stadium, and the public will be called upon to support the campaign.
Commenting on the FARE Action Week, Bundesliga board member Georg Pangl said:
“It is pleasure for me to see that all the clubs and players of the Austrian Bundesliga are again getting actively involved in the FARE Action Week against racism and discrimination. I invite every player and anyone who is interested in football to show racism the red card.”
Kurt Wachter of the FARE coordinating office in Vienna finds the involvement of the Austrian Bundesliga very encouraging: “Looking ahead to the EURO 2008 it is important that Austrian football is making a clear stand against discrimination and exclusion in football. Because racism and xenophobia have yet to disappear from Austrian grounds and pitches. At amateur and youth level, in particular, racist incidents are a regular occurrence. Professional football can bring its role model function into play here.”
Team photos of all 20 clubs involved in the “United against racism” campaign can be downloaded here: http://www.typothese.at/downloads/postkartenklein.zip
The 2005 Austrian Action Week poster is available here: http://www.typothese.at/downloads/poster.zip