UEFA has been praised for its contribution to the campaign to combat racism, intolerance and discrimination in football – and thanked for its support of the Action Week organised by its partner, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.
Last month, European football's governing body used its major club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, as a high-profile platform over some 40 matches to promote the message that racism has no place in the game.
Teams entered the field accompanied by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts, and team captains were asked to wear Unite Against Racism armbands. A 30-second 'No to Racism' giant-screen spot was shown and tannoy announcements were made before each game. Fans coming into stadiums also received printed promotional material.
FARE, who have worked together with UEFA for nine years now, are delighted with the impact of the Action Week. "This year's Action Week has demonstrated how European football can come together to stand united against discrimination and to set out an inclusive vision of our sport," said FARE executive director Piara Powar. "It has been heartening to see action from fan and community groups across the continent matched by activities at domestic league fixtures, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League games and in amateur football.
"We estimate that over 1,500 activities have taken place within 42 countries, a testimony to the hard work of the many activists, volunteers, NGO's and football administrators who have made things happen," he added.
"The support of UEFA for the activities that have taken place at UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches and the general endorsement has been critical to the success of this year's period. The standard has now been set and we look forward to matching it in forthcoming years."
Go to FARE's website for a comprehensive overview of the Action Week activities: http://www.farenet.org/.
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