VIENNA MEETS BALKAN: 7. International FairPlay Youth Tournament in Vienna29 May 2009

From 30th May to 1st June more than 500 children from various backgrounds and countries meet in Vienna as guests of the 7. International FairPlay Youth Tournament under the motto “Vienna meets Balkan”. Local migrant communities, ethnic minorities, international guests, local football teams and teams from the western Balkans come together to play football, have fun and to deepen the intercultural exchange.

Football unites

Christian Oxonitsch, tournament patron and Viennese city councilor for sports:
Especially football serves as an important role model. Football celebrates values such as team spirit, fair play and respect. These values should not only be lived on the pitch but in daily life. The Viennese football history is a history of diversity. It is built upon people with different backgrounds and their unifying passion for football. The 7. International FairPlay Youth Tournament and the diversity of its participants continue this tradition.

Hermine Mospointner, district councilor:
The needs and wishes of your children are very important for us. Our local sports clubs are doing a fantastic work for our children and I want to thank them for their precious contribution.

Markus Pinter, FairPlay-vidc:
This year we see a record high participation of 52 teams from 28 different clubs out of 6 nations. It is our aim to encourage these children in their love for football, their intercultural expertise and their ability to break down barriers within seconds by a smile or a good pass.

FairPlay-Streetkick and multilingual youth magazine

The FairPlay-Streetkick court will bring even more fun and new Fair-Play-Football-Rules to the kids. It has already been part of the FARE fan-hosting and anti-racism programme at the EURO 2004 and 2008 as well as at the World Cup 2006.
Additionally an information point and exhibitions on anti-discrimination, intercultural dialog and integration will be presented on the tournament area.
A specially produced youth magazine will be handed out to children and visitors including exclusive interviews with Austrian national team players Rubin Okotie and Ümit Korkmaz. Robin Okotie, striker at Austria Wien, is the first black national team player in Austria since 1965. Austrian national team player Ümit Korkmaz, who is currently playing in the German Bundesliga, comes out of a Turkish family.

Rubin Okotie (21):
There have been many children with migrant background in the youth teams I played for. Sometimes it was easier for children with Austrian background, as they where favored. But many of us finally made it because we knew that we had to fight harder to reach our aim.

Ümit Korkmaz (23):
I grew up in a district with a high number of migrants, that’s why I didn´t experience racism, aside from the football pitch, that much. I call on those people who speak or act in a racist way, to stop that behavior!

The 7. International FairPlay Youth Tournament is funded by the City of Vienna, district Favoriten, the Austrian Ministry of Sports and the Austrian Football Association ÖFB.
It is organized by FARE partner FairPlay. Different Colours. One Game. and the Balkan Alpe Adria Project in co-operation with the local football clubs Partizan Wien and FavAC.