Mandela backs anti- racism initiatives30 June 2006

Nelson Mandela has offered his support to anti- racism initiatives at the World Cup quarter finals, which have been designated as 'Anti-Discrimination Days'.

FIFA will use the quarter-finals to convey their message at the stadiums and to a TV audience of billions, about their stance against racism.

At all four quarter-final matches, team captains will read a declaration against racism. All sides and the match officials will pose jointly with a banner displaying the 'Say No to Racism' message.

Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner, welcomed the move:
We are very pleased to have been informed of this important FIFA initiative, Say No to Racism. This is a timely intervention on a major issue, which has still not been resolved. Sport can be a great power for good and can play a leading part in the fight for human rights. Although I cannot be with you in Germany, you have my full support.

An anti-racism message has featured at each of the 64 games at the World Cup. A banner covering the centre circle bearing the anti-racism message 'Say No to Racism' is displayed before kick-off. All 736 players and all delegation members of the 32 teams have signed a declaration for fair play and against racism and discrimination.