Seminar 2: Helsinki 2005


Helsinki 27-28 June 2005 Show racism the red card! – Networking and exchange of experience

Nordic Seminar II hosted by FiMu in Helsinki
Nordic Seminar II hosted by FiMu in Helsinki

Monday June 27th

Nordic cooperaton so far (Henrik):

Since last seminar in Copenhagen we have been told that the Nordic council of Ministers do not have funds for our work except the ETNORDEN program where youth groups can get funding to arrange seminars. However, FARE hope to set aside some of the Nike wristbands money to support the Nordic campaigns, but we do not know how much this could be as of yet.


The web site of the Nordic cooperation is up and running, mainly presenting the contacts of each national initiative. Each campaign can get access to this site by contacting SRTRC Norway.

The Swedish and Danish campaigns got a set of their own big red cards (from the FARE budget) and will be posted a box of 1000 cards each.

Situation in Finland (Mourad, Haider and Markus):

There is not a problem of racism in Finnish top division – yet. However, there are incidents in lower divisions and in society in general. For example there is a story in the newspapers now about racism in school, where a teachers have told the pupils that pupils of ethnic minority background should go home to where they come from. Even though there is not a big problem of racism in Finnish top division, the players can play a big role in setting a standard and educate people in Finland on this issue.

FIMU and Finnish Player Union work closely together on SRTRC in Finland. The Finnish Sports Federation is very supportive, but the Finnish FA is more hesitant. They do not want to be heavily involved in a direct campaign or message against racism.

The Player Union discussed the campaign during the General assembly this year and decided this is a very important campaign for them to be involved in. The players are ready and willing to work in the campaign and talk on this issue.

Activities: Helsinki Cup on July 9th – Players will wear shirts with anti-racism message. Top division club Tampere joins the campaign and had an event in 2003 and will show racism the red card again before a match in August. FIMU and the Payer Union are working on a video for the campaign and will film both during the Helsinki Cup and the Tampere match, as well as interview players. They will also try to get interviews with players of the National Team in connection with the World Cup qualifier against Macedonia.


Situation in Sweden (Magnus, Gabby and John):

Unfortunate timing of campaign now as there is a huge campaign against violence with wrist bands and lots of attention this summer in Sweden.

  • Want to launch campaign at a Malmö game in the fall
  • Event at a World Cup qualifier game in 2005
  • Activities during one league round in spring 2006
  • Big event at Gothia Cup opening in 2006
  • Try to engage top names in Swedish football like Ljungberg, Larsson and Ibrahimovic

Campaign in 2005: Contact players of Malmö, contact their supporter group and Malmö against violence. Kickoff at match in Sept/Oct 2005


  • Two campaigns at rounds of Allsvenskan and Superettan. One in spring and one in autumn
  • Get supporter groups to take stand against racism in their policy documents
  • Be active at football schools
  • Big event at Gothia Cup
  • Teach security personnel to tackle incidents at stadiums 

Situation in Denmark (Mads and Simon):

A campaign demands time and resources for materials. Funding is necessary to be able to get campaign going. Have had talks with Trade Union and Ministry of Integration and there is hope of some funding. Talks about a golf tournament to raise funds for campaign. 

Former players visit schools in the UK and educate as well as do physical training with school kids. This model is something we hope to try in Denmark also but also to visit companies – make deals where companies get high profile names of football to do events there, but companies need to work on their employment policies in regard to ethnic minority workers.

Hope to initiate some events and formally launch campaign in autumn 2005. Will ask a couple of top players to be profiles for the campaign.

Important to get supporter groups on board with campaign and have them help design activities in the stadiums. Bröndbyfans are already on board.

Situation in Norway (Alina and Morten):

Two school competitions this spring. In Kongsvinger school kids were invited to make supporter banners against racism. Supporter club was part of jury and helped the campaign. We prepared players before school visits with a briefing on purpose, main message we want to get across and examples of how they can use football and team work to explain the issue to the kids. Prize ceremony during half time of home match where school kids displayed all banners in a parade and the winner was announced. Good coverage in local newspaper. Plans of many school competitions this autumn/winter that will lead to a national final in the spring of 2006. Hope to connect this with the World Cup through an exhibition with Norwegian Embassy in Germany.

Tuesday June 28th:

The Ministry of Education, by Mikko Cortes Tellez, greeted the seminar. It was explained that Finland has the least number of immigrants of the Nordic countries present. The immigrants of Finland are mainly of Swedish and Russian origin. The largest number of immigrants from countries outside Europe, come from Somalia.

Finnish police get reports of ca 300 racist incidents each year, but many cases never get reported or picked up by the police. Finnish authorities support integration through sports and believe this is an important arena of integration. Ministry is positive to the SRTRC initiative in Finland!

How can we best cooperate across the Nordic countries (Morten)?

First, it is important not to exclude anyone in a cooperation to fight racism – we should invite Iceland! Also make new DVD available with sami translation as three of our countries have a sami population and players of sami origin.

Players are the most important factor in the campaigns. They need to be properly informed of the activities. In Norway we call it the Players’ campaign – they own it through the Players Union! A Magazine about the campaign and its work is distributed to all players that are members of the Player Unions  and is one good way of informing them.

Funding: Each campaign should approach Ministries (Education, culture, immigration), state gambling companies and the Trade union.

Do we need joint material? Are there benefits in doing things together? Will applications be stronger if we apply for funds to Nordic activities and material? What common arenas do we have? It is exciting to have a Nordic platform for SRTRC! Top Nordic players are popular and role models in all Nordic countries. Finland is already on their way in making a video, Norway is in talks with media companies to make a new DVD, and the campaign in the UK will have their new DVD ready in July. Maybe it will be possible to make a video that has at least a joint part on the situation in the Nordic countries and statements from top Nordic players. We will get footage from the UK DVD that will feature top stars of the English Premier League.

Group Work on Nordic cooperation and national funding:

Group 1: Poster, Magazine and a DVD could be a good starting package for the new campaigns. A joint magazine in all the different Nordic languages – some country specific articles in each ”national” magazine and a lot of joint material. Get the president of the Norwegian Trade Union to write about the cooperation on a Nordic level and urge the other Nordic Trade Unions to get on board

Make a Nordic poster with the top names of Nordic football – Zlatan, Gravesen, Carew, Hypiä, etc as well as top women players of each country, could boost the national campaigns when they apply for funds.

Sponsors of campaign could create conflicts with sponsors of the clubs – important to be aware of this.

Group 2:

Funding: Important to try and get a meeting to present campaign before sending application. Try to include 10% of budget to materials (posters, DVD, Magazine) and cooperation on the Nordic level. Norwegian campaign can maybe help in using contacts in Norwegian Trade Union to find right contacts in Swedish, Finnish or Danish Trade Unions. Norwegian campaign will also send their annual review and budget to Nordic partners as example and documentation for their applications.

DVD- important that each country make their own cover and that main content is country specific, but include footage and the full videos of other countries as ”bonus material”.

Discussion: Poster – if the Finnish, Danish and Swedish provide good action photos of their top men and women players, the Norwegian campaign will produce Nordic posters that each campaign can give to potential sponsors and funding partners. Deadline is September 1st.

Need for a common mail for everyone involved. Henrik will make one that is forwarded to everyone from our domain.

Participation list:

Mourad Bentelaub FIMU
Haider Eltaee FIMU
Hagi Abdullahi FIMU
Markus Juhola Finnish Player Union
Simon Christensen Mixeurope
Mads Øland Danish Player Union
Sukru Ertosun Rådet for etniske minoriteter (DK)
Louise Blond Brøndbyfans mot racisme (DK)
Magnus Erlingmark Swedish Player Union
Gabby Castillo Ungdom mot racism (Sweden)
John Olsson Ungdom mot racism (Sweden)
Morten Stenseng Gulbrandsen Norwegian Player Union
Alina Drazkowski Norsk Folkehjelp ungdom
Henrik Stabell Norsk Folkehjelp
Mikko Cortes Telles Finnish Ministry of Education
Nelli Koivisto Finnish Sports Federation
Ari Koivu Finnish Sports Federation