The Never Again Association will this week host a conference to launch the FARE programme to challenge extremism and racism at next years UEFA European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
An audience of Polish government ministers, European activists, former players and representatives of governing bodies of football will attend the Polish Parliament for an expert seminar on Tuesday 14th June, and Wednesday 15th June. The seminar will set out the issues facing the host countries of the 2012 Euros.
The Never Again (NA) Association, who run the FARE Eastern European Monitoring Centre, recently launched a far ranging monitoring report, documenting levels of racism and hate crimes in football settings since 2009.
The report highlighted continuing levels of anti- Semitism in Poland and far- right activity in Ukraine as issues to be dealt with. Incidents of abuse and violence inside stadiums over the past few weeks have underlined the message of the report.
NA have themselves been commended by governments recently, as founder and Chairman Marcin Kornak was awarded a high-level state distinction by the Polish President this month, days after US President Barack Obama singled out co-ordinator Rafal Pankowski during his visit to Poland telling him, “What you do is very important. Keep it up!”.
Amongst the initiatives being launched this week will be a FARE observer programme at the Euros and an ‘Inclusivity Zones’ concept that will nominate hundreds of public spaces across Poland and Ukraine as welcome and open places, where difference will be valued. The idea is already being hailed as an innovative step and is expected to attract widespread support.