“Fight racism”: FARE and Figc hold conference at Rome
At Rome this morning representatives from 37 countries to belong to the FARE - Football Against Racism in Europe - network met in Rome. FARE is officially recognised by UEFA and is represented in Italy by be UISP
Official partner in the organisation of this event , attended also by ChievoVerona , is the FIGC in its role in actively combating all forms of racism and discrimination.
Gen Dir of the FIGC, Antonello Valentini, opened proceedings before speeches by Massimiliano Monnanni, director of the National antidiscrimination Association, and by William Gaillard, advisor to UEFA president Michel Platini. Conference chairman Giovanni Spitaleri highlighted how important this theme is in Italy: “ there are many ideas -- we have to focus on education and dialogue. In the world of football we have to develop respect for minorities, possibly in Italy more than in other countries we need to work alongside supporters who need to express themselves with respect. The clubs must be afraid to face this theme.”
Patrick Gasser, Football and Social Responsability representative of UEFA pointed out: “ I've been following Italian football since the 1970s and I'm very fond of it. Our work has been supported by organisations such as FARE at the “Respect” campaign this is a practical example and we can do and the results have been good. We would like to define our objectives in time for Euro 2012 to make a contribution to society through football and those involved in the sport. We've been too tolerant too long and during the European Championships of 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine we will have a golden opportunity to show exactly how important the work we've been doing is.”
Sociologists and consultant for UNAR (Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali) Mauro Valeri underlined how how football and the clubs are actively involved socially even though in terms of racism not enough is done. “ We must try to play things down. We've already issued warnings for 56 episodes since the beginning of the season. Our disciplinary committee has issued five separate total of €377,000 mainly for racist chants at grounds. But despite these measures racism shows no signs of diminishing.” UNAR propose that the money raised from these findings should be spent in antiracist campaigns..
Before the conclusion of the event Paul Elliot, former English player who played also for Italian clubs Pisa, Genoa and Verona, gave his own personal experience of the situation described the various initiatives and projects in which he is involved.