The second weekend of the 2010 FARE Action Weeks begins today with national level activities that will include hundreds of events, tournaments and discussion forums led by fan groups and community organisations.
Activities are on course to reach a target of around 1500 events over the ten-day period with many new groups taking part. Community level action will also be accompanied by activities at many of Europe’s top professional leagues.
Rafal Pankowski, of the Never Again Association, and co-ordinator of the FARE Eastern Europe Development Project put the scale of the activities into context,
The FARE network is clear in what we can achieve through using football for positive social development. This year’s Action Weeks have shown what can be achieved through united action.
As we advance towards the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in less than two years time, the number and scale of anti- discrimination messages in Eastern and Central Europe is encouraging. We have many issues still to overcome but the message is clear – a rejection of intolerance and discrimination and a promotion of inclusive values.
A photo library of activities can be seen here.
Highlights of activities from the hundreds taking place over the next few days include:
Croatia – The White Angels fan club of NK Zagreb will hold a public discussion tonight in co-operation with the Centre for Peace Studies on the subject of fan's responsibilities in promoting fan's activism in the struggle against discrimination and racism.
The White Angels have a strictly non- discriminatory ethos and were last weekend prevented from organising activities by club management at the home game against NK Karlovac.
White Angels secretary Bojan Branisavljevic said,
As a supporters group we are appalled by the excuses from our club's management and felt it necessary to make some actions regarding that decision.
We made our message heard anyway with other means, distributing leaflets and displaying the banner the club refused to support to our stand, but the shock, disbelief and disappointment remains.
Finland – The multicultural sports and culture association is organising a friendly game between Liikkukaa's Respect team and international youth team to raise awareness of racism in football in the Helsinki area. The Respect team is composed of Finnish born youth and African young players.
and its fans club are organising a “happening” in the Myllypuro football hall which will include a friendly tournament between academy players of Atlantis FC and migrants. Many fans of Atlantis FC are migrants or members of some ethnic minorities and will organise a football party in Helsinki.
Germany – “The Fight Against Homophobia in Football – What needs to happen on site?” will be the theme of a panel discussion organised by the Alerta network in Düsseldorf.
A screening of the film “11 Men Out” will take place, followed by a panel discussion involving a player and member of the club administration of Fortuna Dusseldorf, and a representative of Fortuna’s first gay fanclub ‘Warm Up 95’.
Israel – A memorial tournament for the victims of the nazi ghetto of Theresienstadt in the former Czechoslavakia is taking place today. International participants from the Maccabi World Union will take the names of actual teams in the Ghetto. The day involves a visit to the LIGA TEREZIN exhibition which tells the story of the football league set up in the camp.
Montenegro – Forum MNE will organise a mini pitch match between Roma youth and players from Kom Podgorica. Alongside the match an exhibition of paintings of young Roma people will be shown in order to present to the public the ideas, creativity and capacities of the youth groups and the rich diversity of Montenegro.
Netherlands – Before the match between PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord, players of PSV will warm up with anti-racism T-shirts. Kids will line-up alongside them wearing the same shirt. There will also be a statement of the captains on video-boards and in the match programme.
Russia – Zenit FC of St. Petersburg have been running educational activities with school children all week, including a drawing competition, a ‘Football Unites People’ activity and film viewings. These will continue into next week.
There have been player appearances with question and answer sessions from midfielders Basel Abdulfattakh and Roland Gigolaev, as well young people able to watch the team in training.
Ukraine – Kiev Supporters of FC Arsenal will be demonstrating their involvement in an antifascist ultras-movement that can unite the fans of Ukrainian Premier-league teams. They will be displaying their slogan “Love Football, Hate Racism” in Ukrainian during the match with FC “Dnipro” (Dnipropetrovsk) in Kyiv. Scarves will also be produced with the same slogan and among fans of “Arsenal” and “Dnipro”.
click here for the FARE list of Action Week activities