MEP's call for action on racism13 March 2006

Euro MP’s, campaigners and representatives of European football will be joined by the President of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell, on 14th March 2005 as a formal resolution on racism in the game is adopted.

The resolution calls on all stakeholders in the game to do more to fight racism and asks for tougher sanctions for racial abuse on and off the pitch. UEFA is urged to introduce sporting sanctions, such as excluding clubs from competitions.

The one page document has received more signatures than any other previous written resolution of the parliament with 420 MEP’s joining the call for action. Campaigners from across the FARE network have been tirelessly lobbying MEP’s over the past three months stressing the urgency of the problem.

The five MEP's behind the Declaration are Emine Bozkurt MEP (European Socialists Party/Netherlands), Chris Heaton-Harris MEP (European People’s/ UK), Cem Özdemir MEP (Greens/ Germany), Alexander Nuno Alvaro MEP (Liberals and Democrats/ Germany) Claude Moraes MEP (European Socialists/ UK).

The launch at the European Parliament in Strasbourg will be attended by former player Paul Elliott on behalf of the FARE network and William Gaillard the Director of Communications at UEFA.

FARE spokesman Piara Powar, today said,
“Momentum to tackle the highly visible problems of racism has been growing for some time. In recent weeks we have seen the Pope declare his disgust at events in Italy and a United Nations human rights special investigator raise concerns at the levels of racism in the game.

Our hope would be that the resolution could play a significant role in encouraging and endorsing action at all levels of Europe, from football administrators to national governments.”

Former Chelsea, Celtic and Bari player, Paul Elliott MBE, welcomed the Resolution,
“As a player I faced racial abuse on the pitch in a number of different European countries. This is why I am passionate about ensuring that the next generation of players – across the continent and world – do not have to endure the same abuse I did. This resolution can help us move forward in tackling racism in the game, making football a welcoming place, wherever we chose to play or watch it.”