FARE discussed discrimination in sports

On May 6, 2014, participants of international network “Football against racism in Europe” (FARE) from Eastern and Southern Europe met in Budapest.

Representatives of FARE from different countries informed each other about weeks of action “Football Against Racism” that took place in recent years. Among the examples of actions were a flash mob in Italy, when people were playing football in randomly chosen squares in the centers of towns, got passers-by involved in the game and then discussed with them the problems of discrimination. In Germany activists collected funds for refugees during a football tournament. In Poland FARE helped to raise public consciousness regarding the problems of racism and discrimination as part of preparations for World Cup 2012. Monitoring by FARE shows that both the football scene and the society in general started discussing the problems of racism and prejudices and that people start paying attention to these problems.

Participants from Romania, Poland and Bulgaria shared information about their achievements in fighting against discrimination and prejudices through journalism, organizing educational and sport activities aimed at creating equal conditions for children of different ethnic origins both on football fields and in everyday life.

Representative of FIFPro pointed out the main problems, which football players face: racism, violence (or the high risk of becoming victim of violence), forced individual trainings, non-payment of salaries and corruption.

Expert of ADC “Memorial”, which is also a member organization of FARE, participated in discussion of the situation among football fans in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. This situation was described as unstable and deteriorating, as participants of the discussion noted the absence of studies of groups and movements of football fans. Based on their experiences they also spoke of widespread prejudices that create problems for holding football tournaments and educational activities.

Russian participants of the discussion informed their colleagues about the recent changes introduced into Russian laws, which defined the limits of acceptable behavior for football fans, as well as the legal responsibilities for the breach of order. They also informed about the new regulations introduced by the law №192-FZ dated July 23, 2013, which introduced the notions of “spectators”, “controllers-organizers” and their rights and responsibilities.

Participants of the meeting also discussed the possibility of organizing antiracist and antidiscrimination campaign in Russia ahead of the World Cup 2018.

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