The Danish Football Association is still struggling to accept that there are problems of racism in Danish football. This startling stance comes as the country’s media is embraced in debate following some recent racist incidents at Danish football clubs.
The Danish FA claim that there is no problem, that the recent episodes were initiated by the media with their new-found interest in the issue. Jim Stjerne Hansen, chairman of the national Football Association, believes that racism in football should be tolerated, as it has always been so. He said,
“I have a colleague who just got back from Madrid after witnessing the Champions League match on Tuesday. He told me that Sky Sport had been there to do a programme on racism. I got the impression, that they almost started the chanting themselves.”
Fortunately, some in Denmark are taking the issue more seriously. FARE partner, Brøndby mod racisme have identified incidents of racism at their own and other Danish football stadiums. The Chairman of Brøndby IF has condemned the recent racist chanting there and vowed that those responsible will be expelled from the stadium.
Brøndby mod racisme are currently involved in a national media campaign. They want the FA and all Danish clubs to fully support the FARE/UEFA 10-point plan to combat racism. With the assistance of FARE, UEFA published the 10-point plan of action way back in October 2002. It sets out clear practical guidelines on how clubs and authorities should deal with racism. UEFA President Lennart Johansson and then Chief Executive Gerhard Aigner, said,
“The problem of racism is a real issue for the European football family and for the image of football in general. We have a particular responsibility to take steps to stamp it out and prevent it occurring in the future. Racism is a problem for all of us, which must be faced.”