FARE launch racism hotline for Euro 200403 June 2004

A new initiative to help tackle racism at Euro 2004 is being launched next week by the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.

For the first time a telephone reporting number [00 351 966 027 283] will be available to fans to call and report racism or xenophobia at a major international sporting tournament. Calls to the number – the idea for which is based on a freephone number operated by Kick It Out in the UK – will be referred for action by relevant authorities and used for monitoring the extent of racism at the tournament.

The launch of the telephone number is part of a series of activities planned by the FARE network in Portugal. Other initiatives include:

  • A tour of footballing venues by a mobile football game – ‘Streetkick’,
  • A series of fans embassies for the supporters of eight countries,
  • A multilingual anti- racist fanzine.

The activities will be launched with the help of stars of the game including Portuguese legend Eusebio; former Chelsea, Celtic and Bari defender Paul Elliott; former German International, Oliver Bierhoff; and, Ghanaian legend Abidi Pele, who will join members of the European football family at a lunch reception in Porto on the opening day of Euro 2004. The reception is to be held before the opening game on Saturday 12 June, at 12pm.

Piara Powar, Director of Kick It Out – the UK based campaign and a leading member of the FARE network – commented,
“Portugal will become the epicentre of the sporting world from 12 June and like many others across the continent we are determined to ensure that everyone in the game gets the message that racism should not be part of the sport.”

“England fans are said to be drinking in the last chance saloon but many other countries also have a racist and neo- fascist fan base. Some of these maybe in evidence in Portugal.”

French maestro, Zinedine Zidane, recently offered his support to the FARE network with a statement against racism,
“Football is a universal sport which treats us all as absolute equals. On a football pitch, nobody is worth more than anybody else and we are all part of a team. That's how it should be in all walks of life. If football helps us towards a state of equality between everyone, then I want to go on playing all my life.”

For further information and accreditation for the launch event please contact
Leon Mann on +44 207 684 4884.