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UEFA's Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee convened at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland this week for the first time since UEFA picked up a prestigious award for its work in the area of fair play and respect.
European football's governing body was awarded the International Committee for Fair Play's 'Willi Daume World Fair Play Trophy' for its Fair Play campaign, which made a significant contribution to the promotion of respect and fair play at UEFA EURO 2008™. Committee chairman and UEFA first vice-president Şenes Erzik accepted the accolade on behalf of UEFA President Michel Platini at a gala ceremony in Istanbul last month – and this week was the first time that the UEFA President, UEFA General Secretary David Taylor and committee members were able to meet and toast UEFA's collective success.
The Respect campaign, which was initiated by Mr Platini before the start of last summer's UEFA European Championship final round, was aimed at encouraging mutual respect between players, coaches, officials and fans, and was a cornerstone of the tournament. Its widespread exposure throughout host cities contributed greatly to the convivial and joyful atmosphere both on and off the pitch, as well as inside and outside stadiums across Austria and Switzerland.
As a consequence of the positive reaction to the campaign, the Respect initiative has been extended to all UEFA competitions and events, and is also being spread by the football family at national and local levels. UEFA's view is that there must be respect for the difference and diversity which enriches Europe, with a specific focus on countering racism, violence, xenophobia and homophobia, as well as giving reinforced backing to our partners who promote sport for the disabled.
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