10th FARE Action Week draws to a close but initiatives continue
The FARE Action Week came to an end on Tuesday 27th October but, as in previous seasons, some follow-up activities will take place this weekend.
Swiss clubs Young Boys Berne + St. Gallen to play in anti-racism jerseys
Young Boys Berne from Switzerland is one of the clubs that have regularly no home match during the period of the FARE Action Week, so once again their home match against FC Luzern will take place on 1 November. The current leaders in the Swiss league have replaced the clubs sponsors name on their jerseys with the slogan “Together Against Violence and Racism” and after the game the shirts will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Fanarbeit Bern, an organisation that campaigns for a positive fan culture and carries out preventive social work. This anti-racist statement of the club has been initiated by the fan initiative “Gemeinsam gegen Rassismus/HalbZeit” who have joined forces with anti-racism organisations to build the new “FARE network Switzerland”. One of their aims is a closer cooperation with the Swiss Football League, and as a result FC St. Gallen have joined the campaign and will follow the example of YB Berne at their away match against AC Bellinzona.
Austrian and Spanish womens national teams line up against racism
On Wednesday (29th October) evening, for the first time, the womens national teams from Austria and Spain made a united stand against racism in their World Cup qualifier just after the official and of the FARE Action Week. Austrian FARE partner FairPlay. Different Colours. One Game produced banners and red cards in Spanish and German and provided both team captains with “Unite Against Racism” armbands.
Kurt Wachter, project coordinator from the FARE co-ordination office at FairPlay-vidc in Vienna said:
"It is important that all national teams are involved in the anti-racism campaigns – women, men and youths. Womens football is the sport in Europe with the highest rate of growth. We are proud that we could organise this activity together with the Austria FA and the womens national team.“
A similar activity will be organised for the friendly match between the mens national teams of Austria and Spain on 18 November in Vienna.
Nazi attack on Leipzig amateur football club
The importance of anti-racism campaigns showed in incidents last week in Leipzig and Madrid.
A violent, pre-meditated attack by neo-Nazis and hooligans upon players, club officials and fans of amateur club Red Star Leipzig has shocked German football. The attackers appeared to arm themselves with steel-pipes, stones and wood slats, which were hidden within the stadium, suggesting a planned attack. Starting with the throwing of fireworks, stones and petrol bombs at the Red Star fans, the attack soon escalated into serious violence, spilling over onto the pitch, with weapons being openly brandished. Three fans were seriously hurt and taken to hospital.
FARE partner Colectivo CEPA was informed by the fan club "Señales de Humo" from Atletico de Madrid that their banner, specially produced for the FARE Action Week, saying "Fútbol contra el racismo" was removed shortly after half-time by members of a right wing fan group.
Over one million fans saw joint anti-racism stand in UEFA competitions
On match day 3 from 20 – 22 October in both European top competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, more than one million people witnessed live the “Unite Against Racism” activities in the stadiums and millions more via television. 588.000 were present at the matches in the UEFA Champions League matches, with more than 80.000 at Real Madrid vs AC Milan. 49.000 came to watch Shakhtar Donezk vs FC Toulouse, out of a total of 429.000 spectators attending UEFA Europa League games.
The 10th FARE Action Week (15 - 27 October), organised by the FARE network and supported by UEFA, featured some 1,000 initiatives by campaigners, fans, clubs, national associations, ethnic minority groups and youth groups across Europe. Initially launched with initiatives in nine countries, the 10th anniversary edition of the annual FARE Action Week involved 40 different countries.