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19.03.2008 13:14

Barša and UNESCO show racism the red card


The FC Barcelona and UNESCO have published a manifesto against racism signed by Joan Laporta and Ko´chiro Matsuura to mark the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21st of March 2008).

"Given the racist incidents that have occurred recently in different football competitions, UNESCO and FC Barcelona express in unison, on this International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, their profound repulsion towards all expression or acts of racism at football matches. This form of behaviour can only cause us to feel a sense of indignation, and we are fully convinced that the immense majority of football supporters and sports fans in general share this view.

Racism in stadiums is sadly not just a matter of a few isolated incidents. The frequency of the phenomenon suggests something deep-rooted that needs all kinds of work to be done to counter such prejudice as efficiently as possible. Legal responses must be accompanied by social and educational measures that can promote a genuine culture of tolerance and human rights.

Sport and physical education must offer, more than ever, the right context in which to pursue and enrich long-lasting dialogue between cultures, especially in reference to young people.
This conviction formed the basis for the associative agreement established on November 23, 2007 between UNESCO and FC Barcelona. The agreement reiterates our common determination to fight racism and racial discrimination, as well as our commitment to putting our respective institutions’ experience, knowledge and competences at the service of the cause.

Football, and sport in general, must unite people, not divide them. The time has come for us to use actions to show our support for the victims of racial prejudice and take more energetic action to save the sporting spirit itself. In short, the time has come to “show racism the red card”.

Signed by,

Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona
Ko´chiro Matsuura, General Manager of UNESCO

Barša and UNESCO show racism the red card

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