Serbia hosts the 2011 European Under-17 Championship between 3rd and 15th May, which marks the 10th anniversary of the competition.
The tournament is themed “Stronger Together” which implies the idea of spreading the message of antiracism, antinationalism and antidiscrimination in football.
“Stronger Together” is organised by the FARE the partners Balkan Alpe Adria Project (BAAP), FairPlay-VIDC (Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation) and the Football Association of Serbia (FAS). Highlights will be an antiracism stadium event at the final on Sunday 15th May as well as an ongoing campaign with workshops in Serbian schools and with fan-clubs.
“Perfect opportunity to say no to racism”
The initiative is backed by Michel Platini. The UEFA president said: “The 2011 UEFA European Under-17 Championship taking place in Serbia offers this country the perfect opportunity to say no to racism, nationalism, sexism and violence in football. Violence especially has no place in football; our motto is zero tolerance and we will not fail to live up to this.
The role of every nation is paramount in eradicating violence from the game. Beyond a problem in football it is a problem of society and therefore the responsibility of us all. I take this opportunity through the joint campaign ‘Stronger Together’ to underline the importance of respect for diversity and tolerance in football. Working together with the Football Association of Serbia, we can motivate players and fans alike to respect our game and promote the positive values of football for all.”
The General Secretary of FAS Zoran Lakovic added: “The fight against hooliganism, racism, chauvinism and all forms of violence and discrimination in football stadiums presents a priority for all of us in the Football Association of Serbia!
“We are fully devoted to this end, which includes zero tolerance for all offenders, which is one of the guidelines from the conclusion of the Executitive Committee of UEFA. Both by its tradition and perspective, Serbia deserves a place at the top of the European football, and our Association, as the largest sport organization in the Balkans, has a responsibility to exercise leadership in the promotion and achievements of positive football trends.
“‘Stronger Together’ is not just a slogan of the campaign. It is our goal and our mission for a better and more beautiful football in Serbia!”
Football Unites the Alps, Adriatic and the Balkans
The campaign at the UEFA U 17 championship is part of the Football Unites the Alps, Adriatic and the Balkans campaign 2010-2012 from the BAAP and VIDC in cooperation with FARE, the King Baudouin Foundation, the Football Associations in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia and various regional and international stakeholders.
Download the official Stronger Together leaflet.