Forum to encourage more black and Asian fans into football18 October 2004

A unique gathering of celebrities, fans and professional footballers will come together in the UK to look at issues related to the involvement of black and Asian fans in football on Thursday 21st October 2004.

The United Colours Of Football forum will involve leading people in the game such as England’s most capped black player John Barnes, former England international and on-loan West Ham star Chris Powell, and West Bromwich Albion pioneer Brendon Batson.

They will be joined by renowned singer- songwriter Billy Bragg, Bhangra sensation Juggy D and UEFA Communications Director William Galliard. Also on the panel will be journalist Vivek Chaudhary, Britains best known black fan Billy ‘the bee’ Grant and campaigner Piara Powar.

The panellists will be taking over the plush SWAY Bar and Restaurant in central London with 300 football fans, to discuss the issues which have brought racism in football to the top of the national and international agenda, and ask how do we get more black and Asian fans to games?

A key part of the evening will be a debate about the success of Euro 2004 in attracting a diverse fan base in Portugal.

Billy ‘the Bee’ Grant, said,
“The forum will be a great opportunity for people to get together, discuss issues related to football and the engagement of our communities with the game. It’s going be a night of frank exchanges which ultimately we hope will lead to real changes in the game.”

Piara Powar, of FARE partner Kick It Out, commented,
“As a result of 10 years of campaigning, football is tackling racism better than ever before. But what about those absent from stadiums or overlooked for employment in the game as coaches, managers or administrators? These are the issues football now needs to address.”