UEFA is funding two development projects from public viewing licence proceeds accrued during the UEFA EURO 2008™ final round in Austria and Switzerland.
Unite Against Racism
Some CHF 750,000 is being set aside for the 2009-12 Unite Against Racism project run by UEFA's partner in the anti-racism campaign, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network. The project is centred on combating intolerance and discrimination in eastern Europe. In addition, another CHF 750,000 is earmarked for the Football Supporters Europe or FSE's Fan Embassies go East project for 2009-12 – again focusing on the east of the continent.
Resource and campaign base
FARE's objectives are to create a resource and campaign base to support long-term anti-discrimination action in football in eastern Europe. Besides raising the profile and public awareness of the anti-racism campaign, the project will also help support preparations for activities at UEFA EURO 2012™ in Poland and Ukraine through training programmes, lobbying activities and partnerships with UEFA, governing bodies, local organisers and host cities.
Contacts and links
Contacts will be established in the two 2012 host countries as well as in other countries across eastern Europe; educational and promotional material will be produced; and links will be set up with community, fan and ethnic minority groups. National football associations, clubs, government agencies and non-government organisations will also be involved.
"This is good news for FARE and our work in eastern Europe in general. We are acutely aware of the problems in the region and the need to develop and encourage activities among all stakeholders in the region," said Piara Powar, director for UK FARE member Kick It Out. "In two years, Poland and Ukraine will hold a major football tournament and it is critical we are doing everything we can to ensure that racism and discrimination are not part of it. The network has some innovative plans for anti-racist work in the region – this funding will be key to making it happen."
The special focus of the FSE Fan Embassies go East project is also on UEFA EURO 2012™ and eastern Europe. The core objective is to nurture fan initiatives and projects in Poland and Ukraine in preparation for the EURO finals in three summers' time, and to promote fan embassy concepts at major events such as supporters congresses.
Fan embassy initiatives
Targets include strengthening existing fan embassy initiatives or establishing new ones, with particular emphasis on eastern Europe; working on fan embassy initiatives presented by supporters of the participating nations; raising awareness of, and canvassing support for, the work of professional football supporters and fan embassies; and building on the success of fan embassy projects at UEFA EURO 2008™.
"We are delighted that, in funding this project, UEFA is building in the most positive way on its past support for the fans embassy service," said Daniela Wurbs from FSE co-ordination. "The Fan Embassies go East project will help us strengthen our existing network and establish new partners, in eastern Europe in particular. In the process, we hope to convince more and more national governments and football authorities of the important added value this concept presents for the organisation of international matches."
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