Fight against racism in sport: young people presented strategies to European Parliament
How can we fight racism and discrimination in stadiums and on playing fields? What action can municipalities take to combat this plague? On 6 November, five young representatives of three European cities (Botkyrka, Erlangen, Nuremberg) affiliated with the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) visited the European Parliament in Brussels and presented a set of recommendations for preventing and responding to racist behaviour in amateur and professional sports.
These recommendations emerged from a consultation organized with young people between the ages of 15 and 18, as part of "Youth Voices against Racism", a project launched by UNESCO, Football Club Barcelona and ECCAR in partnership with the European Parliament.
The project, directed by the young participants themselves, was launched in the spring of 2008 and is implemented by ECCAR, currently comprising 82 cities in 17 countries. Between June and August 2008, coalition cities set up meetings with young people in schools, sports clubs and youth councils, as well as via local media and online forums, to elicit their ideas for ways to promote tolerance, mutual respect and solidarity through sport.
The presentation ceremony was attended by Jan Figel, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth; Marcio Barbosa, UNESCO Deputy Director-General; Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona; Emine Bozkurt, Dutch Member of the European Parliament; French former soccer star Lilian Thuram; and Hans Hesselmann, President of ECCAR.
The event took place at the European Parliament, ending with a press conference. Afterwards, Lilian Thuram and representatives of the organizations involved in "Youth Voices against Racism" met young people from Brussels football clubs to discuss the fight against racism.
UNESCO, Kornelia Guse and Konstantinos Tararas
Read the recommendations [PDF, 59 KB]
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