The Anti-Racist Football Championship of Poland on “przystanek woodstock” festival 200511 August 2005

Karol Gierliński, deputy of International Roma Parlament, headquatered in Vienna, Austria, has opened the promotional game of a Second Anti-Racist Football Championship of Poland, during the Station Woodstock music festival in Kostrzyn.

The final match between Kostrzyn Representatives & FC Station Woodstock was won 5:2 by a host team, cheerleaded by members of local Roma community.

During the Championship, run under Kick racism out of football programme, all previous records were broken: 300 participants played in 40 soccer teams, watched by nearly 10.000 football fans. The Anti-Racist Football Championship of Poland was won by Celuloza Kostrzyn team, which also gained Fair Play Cup, funded by EU campaign FOR DIVERSITY. AGAINST DISCRIMINATION and NEVER AGAIN association.

Members of many football fanclubs, including premier league, were present at the Championship and took part in the games. The new antiracist & football magazine „Stadium” also had its premiere during the matches.

“Both championship and the magazine gained wide interest among the public, which proves that such antiracist initiatives for football fans are welcome” – said Leszek Naranowicz, manager of the Games. “Racist at football games is a serious problem. It is completely against the idea behind sport games. Hopefully this opinion is shared by growing number of football fans, including Station Woodstock participants” – added Jacek Purski, head of Kick racism out of footbal campaign.

Volunteers of FARE partner NEVER AGAIN and Anti-Nazi Group from all over Poland were promoting anti-racist ideas among participants of Station Woodstock. The public concern in these ideas as well as publications dedicated to tolerance of different cultures, nationalities and religions, rose above the expectations. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nearly 100.000 people visisted the anti-racist information point. 10.000 of them signed an open letter for ceasing distribution of nazi press to chairman of Ruch S.A.

During the final of Station Woodstock football matches volunteers of NEVER AGAIN entered the main festival scene with short antiracist show. Karol Gierliński, deputy of International Roma Parlament, handed in the conmemorary sculpture and a tome of Roma poetry to Jurek Owsiak in acknowledgement of his longterm volunteering for tolerance and fight with stereotypes and prejudice. The Destroy Racism! motto was shouted many times by the participants of Station Woodstock.

The football championship organised by NEVER AGAIN was backed by Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity foundation, antiracist network Football Against Racism in Europe, EU campaign FOR DIVERSITY. AGAINST DISCRIMINATION, Townhall of Kostrzyn and local Centre of Sport and Recreation.