EFSA (European Football Supporters Award) is the European project that awards a group of supporters or an association that shows a positive attitude in sport especially in football. This Award takes place every year.

For the current year, (the 6th edition), the Jury – composed of distinguished representatives from UEFA, the European Commission, the Council of Europe, ESM i.e. European Sports Magazines, the City of Brussels and the Association “Sport and Citizenship” and EFSA’s representants - has selected the Polish association 'NEVER AGAIN' which has had an amazing battle against racism and xenophobia for the past 15 years.

In order to do so, the Jury has had to examine 14 worthy candidatures that had been shortlisted by the EFSA organisers because these candidatures were deemed to be suitable according to the motto in our chart. EFSA takes tremendous pride in mentioning that these candidatures were dispatched from no less than 13 different countries – which is a great achievement in itself. We’ve seen entries from (Belgium, France, Scotland, Germany, Poland, Wales, Turkey, Austria, Israel, Holland, Spain and Switzerland). After “TOUS ENSEMBLE, of the French association Media-Pitchounes, the French winner of the past year), EFSA was bowled over by the effort undertaken by the Polish association.

For a few years now, and thanks to the help and support of a network of volunteers, the association « NEVER AGAIN » has been involved in a long drawn battle to beat racism and xenophobia all over Poland. This issue has become a reference on this subject matter and is therefore being addressed by national and international institutions (such as the Council of Europe and/or the United Nations).

In the world of football namely, NEVER AGAIN is busy with its current “Development Project throughout Eastern Europe” which is organized by the association FARE (football against racism in Europe). This three years project wants to develop a whole range of actions through educational undertakings in order to combat racism in the framework of the European Championship of the Nations, organized in Poland and in Ukraine in 2012.

The principal initiative of this project funded by the UEFA, is the “Control Centre of all actions against racism in Eastern Europe”, and it was launched last November with a specific mission to control, to research and to document specific cases of racism in the region ahead of UEFA’s EURO 2012. And as such, the association “NEVER AGAIN” organises the “Ethno League”. This football competition has seen (between September and December 2010) no less than twelve multicultural teams from Warsaw in order to try and fully integrate all foreign inhabitants. Cultural events have also been organized in parallel to the games, and everything was done with the collaboration of supporters, of footballers, of journalists and of refugees. Each team welcomed the other competitors for a full week whilst trying to offer them a “familiar kind of atmosphere”. Debates and encounters have also taken place to further all initiatives against racism in football. Finally, “the expo : LET’S KICK RACISM OUT OF FOOTBALL” was put together to show that ultimately all foreign supporters had to fit in with the general mottos of the Polish football.

For further information visit www.supportersaward.com, email i[email protected] or call 0032 2 423 51 75.

A version of this article is available in Polish.

Published 10/01/2011