World Cup finalists back FARE07 July 2006

The captains of the World Cup finalists have come together to support football’s fight against racism ahead of the final on Sunday in Berlin.

France and Italy captains, Zinedine Zidane and Fabio Cannavaro, have both written statements to the FARE network in support of our efforts and calling for an end to racism in the game.

FARE campaigners have been working alongside FIFA, the German Organising Committee and German fan organisation KOS, at the World Cup to challenge and raise awareness of racism in football. Our Football Unites! programme has seen campaigners engaging football fans at the World Cup with anti-racism initiatives and monitoring problems both inside and outside of the stadiums.

The Football Unites! programme will conclude in front of Berlin’s famous Brandenburg gates on the fan mile where FARE German partners Dem Ball egal will run the mobile football game, Streetkick, and distribute anti-racism fanzines and flyers in both Italian and French.

Fabio Cannavaro, Italy Captain
“We must remain vigilant against racism and every form of intolerance or racially motivated discrimination. This battle must be fought resolutely and consistently every single day. We should not restrict ourselves to appeals or words, but rather lay down a clear marker through our own conduct. This applies in particular to footballers.

“We know we have a large responsibility, especially with regard to the very young, who from a cultural point of view are particularly impressionable and forever in search of role models whom they can aspire to emulate. We must therefore avoid any form of discriminatory behaviour, not only on the pitch, but also and especially in our daily lives, so that everyone comes to understand that there can be no differences on account of race, skin colour or religion.”

Zinedine Zidane, France Captain
“There is no place for racism. It is impossible to love this sport, to play it or to support a team and be racist or xenophobic at the same time. The values conveyed by football are the exact opposite of racism. Because racism promotes exclusion and hate. Football, in contrast, brings people together to share a common pleasure.

”Every four years we experience a unique time in which people congregate together, take part together and celebrate together. Racists are not invited.”