The German Football Association (DFB) has awarded the 2006 Julius Hirsch Prize to two fan projects from Dortmund and Gelsenkirchen. Joint winners of the 20,000 euro prize are the Fan-Projekt Dortmund and the Gelsenkirchen-based association dem ball is´ egal, wer ihn tritt. The decision was taken by a jury headed by former minister of the interior Otto Schily at DFB headquarters in Frankfurt last Wednesday. The prize was put up by the DFB in 2005 in memory of the Jewish footballer and Germany international Julius Hirsch (1892-1943), who was murdered in Auschwitz, and awarded to Bayern Munich FC in the same year. It marks efforts on behalf of tolerance and human dignity and against extremism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.
In making this award the independent jury recognised the contribution made by both initiatives as part of the fan programme at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. During the tournament dem ball is´ egal, wer ihn tritt organised anti-racist Streetkick tournaments at the Fan Fests, which attracted around 18 million visitors. It also produced a CD‑ROM in the run-up to the World Cup that deals with the subject of racism and xenophobia in football and is intended for use in schools and education establishments. This CD-ROM is now being used in lessons by numerous schools in North Rhine-Westphalia.
At the 2006 FIFA World Cup the Fan-Projekt Dortmund organised a series of activities under the motto 'Kick racism out' designed to foster a peaceful and tolerant tournament atmosphere among visitors from all over the world.