Monitoring Centre Examines Racism in Football in the Ukraine07 January 2010

FARE and NEVER AGAIN Association set up the East Europe Monitoring Centre with UEFA's support to monitor racism and xenophobia in Eastern Europe in the lead-up to the EURO 2012.

The FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) Eastern European Development Project administered by the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association includes a small grants pool for local anti-racism organisations in Poland and Ukraine.

In 2009/2010 the entire budget was devoted to supporting Ukrainian initiatives against xenophobia and racial extremism.

Ukrainian organisations will have the possibility to continue and expand their activities towards 2012.

The following organisations have been supported:

* the East European Development Institute
* the 'No Borders' Social Action Centre
* the Social Alternative, and
* Stand Together Initiative (joint proposal), and the Crimean Tatar Youth Centre.

Planned activities include:

* the monitoring of racially-motivated incidents in Ukrainian stadiums
* the preparation of a manual on hate signs used in sports
* training of stewards and fans to identify hate symbols
* street football tournaments with the participation of ethnic minorities and refugees
* the production of a video on racism and anti-racism in Ukraine, and
* the promotion of anti-racism in the Crimea region.

A local monitoring and educational project in Lviv is being discussed with a local partner, too.

The 'NEVER AGAIN' Association is going to assist and advise each of the projects throughout their implementation.

We are happy to expand our activities in Ukraine in 2010. It is clear there is a need for improved hate crime monitoring and anti-racist awareness-raising at a critical juncture in Ukrainian history – said Dr Rafal Pankowski, the East Europe Monitoring Centre coordinator.

We need to emphasize the social dimensions of EURO2012, it is a historic event for our civil society – said Dr Mridula Ghosh, Chair of the East European Development Institute in Kiev, one of the East Europe Monitoring Centre partners.