Balkaniade 2010 Festival takes stand against chauvinism and nationalism28 July 2010

A total of nine youth teams from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia, who have qualified in regional tournaments, will meet and compete from 7 – 8 August in Kotor, Montenegro, and together join a festival against nationalism, chauvinism and intolerance in the Balkans. Workshops and discussion groups will also offer an opportunity for a detailed debate on racism and nationalism. A brochure containing messages against racism and nationalism in the Balkans from well-known players will be distributed during the tournament.

Patron of the event is the Montenegro international Branko Boškovic:
I am very happy to support the tournament. With the power and strength of football we have an instrument to fight racism, discrimination and nationalism. Football is a sport for everyone: origin, colour of the skin, religion, boy or girl, young or old – that just doesn’t count.
I want to emphasize that it is not important who will win the tournament; it is important that all of the participants contribute to the joint goal of fighting discrimination and nationalism and are taking home the spirit of intercultural respect and understanding.

Pre events in Sarajevo, Sandžak and near Belgrade
Beforehand three regional youth tournaments have been organized with a total number of 18 teams from different parts of the countries. The first event was held from 24 – 25 July in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Two regional tournaments take place from 1 – 2 August near the Serbian capital Belgrade and in the Serbian Sandžak, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious region (Orthodox and Muslim) close to the border of Montenegro. The winner of these regional events qualifies for the final in Kotor and will compete with a ethnically mixed teams from Mostar – Bosnia & Herzegovina, Roma Macedonia, an Albanian and Croatian team as well as with the two hosts from Montenegro – Kokelj Kotor and Kom Podgorica.

Football Unites Alpe, Adria and the Balkans – Activities 2010 – 2012
Following the successful initiation of the Football Unites the Alps, Adria and the Balkans- campaign 2006 – 2009 organized by the Balkan Alpe Adria Project – BAAP, FairPlay-VIDC and the European network FARE – Football Against Racism in Europe, the activities have been set to continue from January 2010 until December 2012. The activities are geographically focused on the basis of co-operations with the football associations of Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia.

Balkaniade”: International Youth tournaments in the Balkans
The project partners will organize a series of annual regional youth tournaments for boys and girls (under 16) hosted by the national football associations and local clubs with teams from different countries in the Balkans. Nine teams will qualify every year for the final tournament.

Football Unites Workshops
Every year the project will bring together regional and international stakeholders to discuss best practice examples and initiatives that contribute to the overcoming of nationalism and racism. This year the event will take place in the eve of the FARE Action Week from 14 – 15 October 2010 in Skopje, Macedonia.

Anti-racism activities with national football associations and clubs
The project partners will organize several anti-racism days at football matches in the Balkans. These manifestations will be realized in cooperation with the national teams and clubs.

FARE Action Week in October
The idea of the FARE Action Week is having a wide range of initiatives and activities addressing local problems within their club or community, while also joining groups across the continent to present a unified stand against racism in the game. The involvement in the FARE Action Week will guarantee a wide dissemination of the message against nationalism and racism all over the Balkans.

International FairPlay Youth tournaments: Vienna meets Balkan
Local migrant communities, ethnic minorities, local football teams and international guests from the Western Balkans come together once a year in Vienna, Austria, to play football, to have fun and to deepen the intercultural exchange.

Funding for the activities is provided by the football associations of Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia, UEFA and the King Baudouin Foundation.

Contact details:
BAAP, Alexander Rakowitz, Phone: +43 -699-811 894 91, +381-637 337 833