UEFA's flagship club competition, the Champions League, provides a platform for the Action Week being staged by the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.
Europe's top football stars will help to spread the message that racism and discrimination have no place in European football. All 32 teams taking part in the UEFA Champions League will show their opposition to racism as part of UEFA's contribution to the FARE Action Week.
During match day 3 (23 & 24 October) announcements will be made over stadium public address systems; captains will wear Unite Against Racism armbands; Unite Against Racism logos will appear on stadium screens; and children escorting players on to the pitch will wear Unite Against
Racism t-shirts at all 16 matches. In addition, clubs are to distribute the FARE Action Week poster, which will be made available in all stadiums. These and other activities will put over the message that everyone in football players, fans, referees, coaches, governing bodies and media has to take a stand against racism and join the fight.
Champions League marks Action Week since 2004
This year is the fourth successive time that the UEFA Champions League has got behind the Week of Action against Racism and Discrimination in European Football. Since the inaugural edition in season 2004/05 more than 1.7 Million fans have witnessed the anti-racism activities inside the stadiums. This years tannoy announcement has been translated into 13 different languages and calls upon fans to respect the diversity in the game:
We all share a love of football and a desire to make football stadiums welcoming places for all fans, regardless of the colour of their skin, ethnic origin or religion. If you love football, you are against racism, discrimination and violence. Please join UEFA in supporting this initiative.
Europe stands United
The FARE Action Week kicked off on 17 October with a series of symbolic anti-racism actions at a series of UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying and international friendly matches, including Turkey – Greece, Ukraine – Faroe Islands, Malta – Moldova, Republic of Ireland – Cyprus, Bosnia &
Herzegovina – Norway, Netherlands – Slovenia, Belgium – Armenia, Germany – Czech Republic, Poland – Hungary and Austria – Côte d’ Ivoire. Until 30 October more than a thousand activities and initiatives led by campaigning NGOs, fan groups, clubs, national associations, ethnic minorities, players’ unions, youth groups and schools will take place
in 38 European countries.
In addition to the pan-European Champions League, 13 professional national leagues across Europe are actively taking part in the FARE campaign. Among them are Germany, England, Greece, Serbia, Ukraine, Portugal and for the first time Sweden and Switzerland.