The Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network celebrates 10 years of campaigning this weekend as over 100 fans, activists and NGO’s come together at the Franz-Horr-Stadium in Vienna, home of FK Austria.
The two day conference, on 13 and 14 December, will mark some of the network’s key achievements since its formation in Vienna in 1999, as well as looking forward to new challenges with a series of workshops looking at various areas of discrimination in the game.
FARE’s role in tackling racism at all levels of professional and amateur football has seen its membership grow to a presence in 40 countries across Europe. As well as monitoring activity at domestic football in all these nations, it now plays a role in major European tournaments through a partnership with UEFA.
The work of FARE has been supported by some of the biggest names in European football. Lillian Thuram and Marcos Senna are just two players who have assumed the role of ambassadors. Another is former Celtic, Aston Villa and Bari player, Paul Elliott who commented: “Discrimination in European football is a complex issue taking many forms, which is why the work of FARE remains so crucial. Its far-reaching presence into so many different countries means trends can be monitored and action taken.”
Kurt Wachter, from host FARE member, FairPlay-vidc, said: “The FARE network has had many successes in the past decade. We’ll be using this conference to look back at some of these, but also to new challenges ahead, such as the programme of work toward the European Championship in Poland and the Ukraine in 2012 and how to take the next step in challenging homophobia in football.”
A FARE media reception will take place on Sunday evening at SK Rapid Vienna’s Gerhard-Hanappi-Stadium. Speakers at the reception include UEFA representatives, the Austrian Football Association, the Austrian Football League, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the City of Vienna.
These will joined by a host of current and former players such as Paul Elliott, Samuel Koejoe (Dunajská Streda, Freiburg), Yves Eigenrauch (Schalke 04), Oliver Prudlo (Wacker Innsbruck), chairman of the Austrian Players Union.
The Vienna networking conference “Football for Equality: Challenging Racism and Homophobia across” is supported by UEFA, the European Commission and the City of Vienna.