The meeting brought together 40 individuals from organisations representing 19 countries to discuss the future direction of the work of Fare in the region and to agree a strategy for activity.
The meeting came as the focus on football and anti-discrimination in the region has grown with the hosting of the UEFA European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in 2012, and the awarding of the FIFA World Cup to Russia for 2018.
Amongst the issues discussed was the re-emergence of the far-right in football, the situation of Roma and other ethnic minorities in the area, and issues of sport and intolerance in Russia following the Sochi Winter Olympics this year and a clampdown by the Russian government on the work of NGO’s.
Pavel Klymenko, Fare Eastern Europe Development Officer looked forward to the meeting,
“This is the first gathering of groups from the region since a similar meeting took place in 2011 hosted by Never Again Association in Warsaw in the run up to Euro 2012. Our members in the region are amongst the leading experts in anti- discrimination, inclusion and sport issues and with their help we hope to refine our strategy in the East and share new ideas and practice.”
The meeting was hosted by Subjective Values Foundation, whose chair Marcell Lőrincz said,
“We are pleased to have supported Fare to host this meeting with other members in Hungary. As an active group in all areas of anti- discrimination work in Hungary and across the region we know the important role that football can play as both a means of exhibiting overt discrimination and also a vehicle for tackling societal problems. We look forward to a productive meeting.”
The agenda of the meeting can be downloaded here.