The Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network and FIFA have announced a series of joint measures to tackle racism at the World Cup in Germany.
The announcement was made at a press conference held this morning in Berlin where Alain Leiblang from FIFA Media, Hans Florin and Gerd Graus from the LOC, Director of FARE partner Kick It Out Piara Powar, former Chelsea and Celtic star and FARE ambassador Paul Elliott MBE joined members of the World media.
The initiative between FARE, the world governing body FIFA, and the World Cup Local Organising Committee, will focus on identifying problems and disseminating educational messages.
FIFA will for the first time at a leading international tournament use matches to send out an anti-racism message by declaring the Quarter Final matches as anti-racism games.
The announcement comes amidst a growing debate on racism within Germany and fears that the presence of far-right groups may encourage racial attacks.
The activities by the FARE network will include:
A 11 city tour by the ‘StreetKick’ mobile football game, bringing together fans to celebrate shared cultures
A multilingual hotline for fans to report racism at the World Cup
The distribution of 35,000 anti-racism fanzines during the tournament, and a touring exhibition detailing the history of anti-racism activities in football across Europe
Activities with young Germans from an ethnic minority background
Monitors to identify racially discriminatory banners, chants and other form of racism inside and around stadiums
FIFA will underline their stance against racism by declaring the Quarter Finals as anti-racism days. Before every QF game team captains will read a personal pledge against racism and teams will come together behind a banner.
Director of UK FARE partner Kick It Out, Piara Powar, welcomed the partnership.
The partnership between FARE, FIFA and the OC breaks new ground. There are real fears about racism at the World Cup that requires action from those involved in every aspect of the tournament. We hope by being proactive we are able to head off some of the potential problems.
The World Cup brings together the world football family in a way seen before. The appreciation of sporting talent from across the globe on the field of play should be met by friendship, tolerance and mutual appreciation in all areas.
FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, said:
FIFA places great importance on respecting ethnic backgrounds. As the most popular sport, football has the biggest chance in the battle against racism, making it clear to the general public that skin colour has no impact whatsoever on our everyday routine, our lives, and our sport.
FIFA is totally committed to taking steps to eradicate pernicious trends in society and football. We are convinced that our alliance with FARE and the LOC will be a further keystone in our fight against these shameful activities.
Before this evenings opening games, Germany versus Costa Rica in Munich and Poland versus Ecuador in Gelsenkirchen, UK FARE partner Football Unites Racism Divides and German FARE partner Dem Ball Egal will kick start the Street Kick tours.