UEFA, the European Commission and the Football Against Racism in Europe network have launched an anti-racism television spot to spearhead the ongoing campaign to kick racism and discrimination out of football.
The 30-second film will spread the No to Racism message to more than 140 million TV viewers worldwide when it is broadcast at half-time in this season's UEFA Champions League matches from 16 September through to the final in Rome on 27 May 2009. “This is the second TV spot that UEFA has co-produced with the European Commission in as many years, and this is a great way to develop our relationship together,” said UEFA General Secretary David Taylor. “UEFA operates a policy of zero tolerance in the fight against racism, and this new film demonstrates our steadfast commitment to the cause.”
European Commissioner for multilingualism, Leonard Orban, believes the film's use of the universal language of football will ensure its message is conveyed to a global audience. “A feeling of common belonging based on linguistic and cultural diversity is a powerful antidote against intolerance,” he said. “By increasing mutual understanding, multilingualism can significantly contribute to the dialogue between people, be it at school, at work or during free time. As this 30-second TV spot shows, football is a good vehicle for interaction and for learning about other cultures and languages.”
The film, which involves actors from several different countries, is the latest initiative in UEFA's Respect campaign. Launched by UEFA President Michel Platini last spring, the campaign aims to promote mutual respect between all participants in the game – from referees and players to officials and fans – and its high-profile presence at UEFA EURO 2008™ contributed to the healthy tournament spirit, which UEFA hopes will be carried over into this season's club competitions.