This week’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches will highlight the fight against all forms of discrimination in football stadiums throughout Europe
050 - Players support UEFA's No to Racism campaign at upcoming matches
The message at matchday three in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League is loud and clear: there is no place for racism, discrimination and intolerance in football. This week's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches will highlight the fight against all forms of discrimination in football stadiums throughout Europe, as UEFA gives its full support to the continent's biggest anti-discrimination campaign, the Fare Football People Action Weeks.
For the first time, the campaign has been rolled out at national team matches, as matchdays two and three of the European Qualifiers were also dedicated to No to Racism. At 40 matches across UEFA's prestigious club competitions and at 54 European Qualifiers, UEFA's commitment to ensuring that European football is free of racism and intolerance will be emphasised through activities which will be witnessed by thousands of fans in the stadiums, and millions more on television. Many clubs will also implement additional activities during the week, showing their strong support to the cause.
UEFA's 'No to Racism' TV spot will be played at stadiums, as well as special announcements made over stadium loudspeakers with print advertisements published in match programmes, encouraging fans to join the action against racism in football. Teams will also be accompanied onto the pitch by children wearing 'No to Racism' T-shirts, and captains will be asked to wear a 'No to Racism' branded armband. The TV spot will be shown by European rights-holding broadcasters, emphasising the anti-discrimination message to millions of TV viewers.
UEFA President Michel Platini said: "UEFA, its member associations and its long-standing partner the Fare network share an unwavering desire to tackle all forms of discrimination in our sport and to help stamp out such behaviour across Europe. Driven by that shared determination, we adopted a resolution on this issue at the UEFA Congress in May 2013 with a view to sending a strong message as part of our fight against racism. We will also continue to use the No to Racism campaign to show our commitment to making sure football is tolerant and inclusive to people from all colours, backgrounds and beliefs."
Fare executive director Piara Powar said: "We are proud that the Fare Football People Action Weeks are now the largest social message activity in sport, with involvement from small grassroots groups to some of the largest clubs in Europe through the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, as well as the European Qualifiers. The theme of 'Football People' reflects the message of unity and inclusiveness that is critical to us going forward. UEFA’s support has been vital in getting our message across to a global football audience."
European football is united behind the anti-discrimination message: UEFA's No to Racism campaign highlights the anti-racism resolution adopted at the UEFA Congress in May in 2013 when UEFA's all member associations pledged to step up their efforts to eliminate racism from football and impose stricter sanctions on racist behaviour. The resolution includes encouraging referees to stop, suspend or even abandon a game if racist incidents occur; the imposition of ten-match suspensions on any player or team official found guilty of racist conduct; and stadium closures if fans engage in racist behaviour. UEFA’s disciplinary regulations have also been revised to include tougher penalties against racism.
To learn more about the Fare Action Week activities, please visit farenet.org.
For more information about UEFA’s No to Racism campaign, see UEFA.org.