Show racism the red card: Networking and exchange of experience
Summary of Seminar
Feb. 1st and 2nd , 2005
Show racism the red card originated in England 10 years ago. In 2000 Norwegian People’s Aid and the Norwegian Players Union in Norway launched a similar campaign with great success. Youth groups of NPA co-ordinated activities at the Premier League arenas, handing out red cards with anti-racist messages to spectators and organised so that the football players showed racism the red card before the match. The campaign has also moved out to schools and tournaments for kids/youth where players and project staff address the issue of racism.
The issue of racism in football is unfortunately still a big problem and we had six reported incidents in Norwegian football last season (2004). We also know of recent episodes in Sweden where spectators racially abused Djurgårdens Gambian goalkeeper, Dembo Touray, and there have been episodes in Danish football where spectators racially abused black players Francis Dickoh og Jeffrey Aubynn last month. In the rest of Europe racism in football has been much worse for many years, and this autumn it has seemed to spread and grow. The incidents in Spain last month got a lot of media attention and images from Burnaby stadium shows spectators with nazi symbols tattooed on their arms doing the ?Sieg heil? gesture every time german team touched the ball, as well as massive monkey chants against the black players of B. Leverkusen. In society in general, Islamofobia is very strong and tension high in Europe. Extremists are still a very small minority but get the most media attention and creating fear both among ethnic minorities and the majority. Racist movements are feeling strong and feel that authorities and media now legitimise their views. It is more important than ever to be balanced in the debate and strong with the message that racism is unacceptable and dangerous for society.
Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) has allocated some funds to help establish campaigns in the Nordic countries. Already Finnish Multicultural Sports Federation has plans to launch their SRTRC campaign in January, and MixEurope in Denmark are working on a project proposal along with initiatives for action in Brøndbyfans Against racism. SRTRC Norway has received funds from FARE to facilitate these initiatives and therefore invite organisations to a first seminar of experience exchange and networking.
The Seminar discussed and exchanged experiences relating to the campaign Show Racism the red card. The idea was to prepare the launch of campaigns in Sweden, Denmark and to backup on the work in Finland.
Combating Racism in European Football
The experiences of the FARE network
· Exclusion of ethnic minorities and migrants on various levels of football (in stadiums, football institutions, education)
· Prejudice and racist stereotypes in other spheres (schools, media)
FARE Project at EURO 2004
· UEFA funding of fan embassies project and anti-racism activities (charity partnership with FARE)
· Publication anti-racist magazine in the sports daily ?O Jogo?
· Observation of racist incidents through experienced FARE workers including a telephone reporting number
· Street kick tour (mobile football game accompanied by a team of youth workers to engage fans and local people
· Multi-lingual anti-racist fanzine distributed for free before and after matches and at Street kick events
Achievements of anti-racist campaigning SRTRC UK
· Awareness of ?silent majority? and the media
· Mobilisation and linking of diverse fan groupings with migrant and ethnic organisations
· More pro-active stance of governing bodies (anti-racist policies, FAs & clubs)
· Football outsiders reached with anti-discrimination message (young people)
Show Racism the Red Card is an anti-racist charity that was established in January 1996 in the UK with the aim of using Professional footballers as anti-racist role models. Although racism is on the decline in professional football, it is unfortunately on the increase in British and indeed European society. The aim of the campaign is to combat racism through anti-racist education, and professional footballers are showing the way in terms of making a stand and fighting racism.
There was no money in the beginning but the campaign has been able to involve hundreds of top footballers and managers, and has harnessed the high profile of these role models to combat racism.
· You can?t do much without support from players, fans and player Unions
· You need finance for the work, material, videos
· Education is of greatest importance
· It is a long run campaign – nothing changes over night
· Partnership of humanitarian/anti-racism organisation and Player Union has been important for success
Combination of events at arenas (Players showing racism the red card) and school visits with players (and school competitions) has prooved powerful and successful
Partnership with Newpaper Union secures good coverage and enthusiasm around campaign locally.
Exchange of experience and materials with SRTRC UK has been important for success
Events on arena very easy to do. Takes five seconds, cost little and is powerful. When established ? 2-3 events pr season pr team seems ideal
Players and Supporters are role models and need to carry the message of anti-racism.
The Work from now
The Organisation youth against racism and the Swedish player union will take meet soon and discuss further the launch of a campaign in the primary football league. SRTRC Norway will be the backup and support the work. The timetable is to start some activities in springtime 05. League has a new all imigrant team. Important partner for campaign
The Finish Red Card Action launched their campaign in January 2005. . Slow and sure is the topic of the campaign run by Finnish Multicultural Sports Union in partnership with the Finnish Player Union. The idea is to launch a national action with the Danish and Finish national football teams in June 05, as well as during the Helsinki games in summer of 2005. Red card in Norway will bed the backup and support.
MIXeurope will take action and invite relevant partners in the effort to launch a campaign in Denmark. The Danish Player Union, The Danish F.A. and the supporters will be the key partners in this work. One of the goals is the Fare Week with activities and events.
Red card in Norway hope to invite to another seminar in June this year.
Everybody at the seminar felt that it would be a god thing to meet again and discuss status of the work.