Fighting nationalism in the Balkans11 May 2009

Some 13 years after the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina key football stakeholders and human rights groups meet in Sarajevo to find practical ways to overcome nationalism and racism.

The workshop “Education through sports” in Sarajevo on 12 May 2009 is hosted by the Football Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina and will be opened by its president Sulejman Čolaković and Walter Posch, director of the organiser Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation (vidc). Also the High Representative and European Union Special Representative in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, is announced to join the gathering in the Hotel Europe.

In the various workshop best practise examples and initiatives will be discussed that contribute to the overcoming of nationalism and racism with an emphasis on initiatives in the field of sports and to the networking of regional and international players and stakeholders.

International perspectives and experiences from the Balkans

The opening session will present international perspectives and contributions by Patrick Gasser (UEFA), Ann de Mol (King Baudouin Foundation) and Des Tomlinson (Football Association of Ireland).

A panel discussion on the positive impact of football in tackling racism and nationalism will gather high level representatives from four football associations in the Balkan region including the General Secretary of the Bosnian FA, Munib Ušanović, Croatian FA Security Officer Zoran Cvrk, Vladimir Bulatovic from the Football Association of Serbia and the Head of Competition at the Macedonian FA, Miroslav Gerovski. The discussion will also be joined by the former goalkeeper and present director of Partizan Belgrade, Slavko Drljača.

Education through football

NGOs and human rights groups will have their say when the workshop will deal with best practice in the field of awareness raising and education through sports.

Experienced members of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network such as Saša Dupor from the Croatian Step Ahead youth association, Aleksandar Misevski, Youth Forum Bitola in Macedonia, Alexander Rakowitz of the Balkan Alpe Adria Project (Austria/Serbia) and Ranko Milanovic Blank, youth initiatives programme consultant of the Norwegian People's Aid / Bosnia & Herzegovina will present their projects and initiatives as innovative practise examples.

The organiser Michael Fanizadeh (vidc) explains:
Beginning with the Europeanwide Action Week against racism in football in 2003 the FARE network established partnerships with NGOs, clubs and football associations in the Balkans and organised with these partners several activities to fight racism and nationalism with support from UEFA. The activities had been intensified through the partnership with the King Baudouin Foundation in the framework of Nike’s “Stand Up Speak Up“-campaign since 2006. This workshop is the logical next step to develop new partnerships and projects and to organise joint activities.

The workshop is organised by vidc in cooperation with the FARE network and the Football Association of Bosnia & Herzegovina and is financially backed by the Austrian Development Cooperation.

Workshop: „Education through sports“
12 May 2009, 9 – 17.30, Hotel Europa
Vladislava Škarića 5, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

9.00 – 10.30, Arrival/registration
10.30 – 11.00, Opening
Sulejman Čolaković, President of the Football Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina
Walter Posch, Director, vidc

11.00 – 12.00, Opening Plenary: Fighting Discrimination, the European perspective
Patrick Gasser, UEFA, Football and Social Responsibility
Ann de Mol, King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium
Des Tomlinson, Football Association of Ireland
Chair: Michael Fanizadeh, vidc

12.00 – 12.15, Coffee Break

12.15 – 13.30, Panel Discussion: Tackling Racism and Nationalism through football in the Balkans
Munib Ušanović, General Secretary of the Football Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina
Miroslav Gerovski, Head of Competition, Football Federation of Macedonia
Zoran Cvrk, Security Officer of the Croatian Football Federation
Vladimir Bulatovic, Football Association of Serbia
Slavko Drljača, Director, Partizan Belgrade
Chair: Michael Fanizadeh, vidc

13.30 – 14.30, Lunch Break

14.30 – 16.30, Panel Discussion: Awareness raising trough education and sports
Saša Dupor, NGO Step Ahead, Croatia
Ranko Milanovic Blank, Youth Initiatives Program Consultant, Norwegian People's Aid, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Aleksandar Misevski, President, Youth Forum Bitola, Macedonia
Alexander Rakowitz, Balkan Alpe Adria Project, Austria
Chair: Markus Pinter, vidc/FARE

16.30 – 16.45, Coffee Break

16.45 – 17.30, Closing Session
Summary and recommendations by the chairs Markus Pinter and Michael Fanizadeh

Closing remarks: Valentin Inzko, The High Representative and EU Special Representative in Bosnia & Herzegovina (tbc)