Finals in Cup of Friendship and Tolerance in Slovakia04 September 2006

The antiracist Roma project „Football is joining us together“ will come to its climax on Saturday 23th of September 2006 in Kokava nad Rimavicou (Slovakia).

The finals of the antiracist tournament „Cup of Friendship and Tolerance“ are organised by FARE partner Ľudia proti rasizmu (People against racism) with support of FARE and the Slovak Football Associasion. Six mixed Roma and non-roma football teams will play a friendly tournament to support the fair-play game with a slogan „what matters is the colour of your dress, not the colour of you skin“. An additional activity will be a workshop for Roma coaches in area of football trainning and game techniques.

In spring 2006, LPR organised the same tournament for children and youth from 8 to 16 years, in three regions which ended up in the so called junior final tournament in Vranov nad Toplou (Slovakia). In total, 36 junior teams were involved coming from marginalised regions with a high percantage of Roma citizens.

The main aim of the project is to tackle against racism through football in Slovakia and to break down the stereotypes by involving mixed teams. For presenting Roma lifestyle and culture, all tournaments have an additional part, were Roma culture is presented by participation various Roma artistes – musicians, singers, dancers, cooks which prepare traditional food. All participants and teams are supported with jerseys and a football.

The project will continue in autumn 2006 by educational activities in elementary schools in selected regions with a high number of Roma citizens or neonazi supporters among youths. The educational programme will consist of an interactive seminar supplemented by an exhibition and an antiracist school tournament. Another activity is a competition of the best poster „Football, racism and Roma“ for all students in Slovakia who are interested in the topic.