Thousands of football fans from across Europe will arrive today at Parco Di Bosco Albergati, Castelfranco Emilia, in the Italian region of Modena, for the 18th edition of the anti-discrimination tournament Mondiali Antirazzisti.

The annual festival, organised by the Italian Fare partner UISP and Progetto Ultrà, will bring together football supporter groups, activists and ethnic minorities to celebrate sports’ unique power to unite people, change lives and fight discrimination.

A series of sporting and cultural events, including football, volleyball and tchoukball tournaments, workshops, debates, exhibitions and concerts, will take place between 02-06 July on the site.

This year, and for the first time, the fan network Football Supporters Europe (FSE) will host its annual European Football Fans’ Congress (EFFC) at the Mondiali.

“Dialogue with and international networking of football supporters are an important means to avoid conflict and strengthen the voice of supporters in the game.” said Daniela Wurbs, FSE Spokesperson.

“This 7th European Football Fans Congress should show that many fans in Europe work together in solidarity for the common cause. But it should also send a signal to the football institutions that we see many problems as fans in football and we want to be heard – even the most difficult preconditions.” she added.

Workshops and debates will discuss a range of topics around fan culture, including role of fans in social protests movements.

The World Cups in Brazil, Russia and Qatar will also be approached through a panel discussion on international sport mega events and human rights featuring the Moroccan professional player Abdes Ouaddou, who will speak about about his experiences with the Kafala-System in Qatar, on the basis of which he was kept in the country by his club.

“There are several new elements in this year’s edition of the Mondiali, including a space dedicate for social movements in Brazil and the Football Fans Congress, the latter of which brings us back to the core goals of our festival, celebrate fan culture and diversity in football” said the event organiser Carlo Balestri.

Published 04/07/2014