Hungary's UEFA Cup competitors Ferencvárosi TC have launched a wide-ranging anti-racism campaign – another example of the various efforts being undertaken at club level throughout Europe to rid football of intolerance and discrimination.
Four of the club's players and head coach Csaba László feature on a campaign poster carrying the slogan Silence Racism. Two of the players have foreign origins. Thomas Sowunmi is half-Nigerian/half-Hungarian and previously played for the Hungarian national team, while Leandro de Almeida, another Hungarian international, was born in Brazil, but has lived in Hungary since childhood. They are joined by Hungary midfield players Dénes Rósa and Péter Lipcsei.
As an important part of the campaign, Ferencváros asked their supporters to show the poster of the campaign in the second minute of the recent UEFA Cup game against Feyenoord. The picture of the campaign was printed in the middle of the match programme and given free of charge to the fans. Thousands of supporters showed the posters, creating an impressive living mosaic in the stadium.
"It was a great idea by Ferencváros," said Feyenoord coach Ruud Gullit after the game. "I felt the effects of racism when I was a player and all clubs should fight against intolerance, just like Ferencváros, because it is a major social problem in the world."
Home coach László, who lived in Germany and worked as a youth trainer for 1. FC Kaiserslautern, added his thoughts. "In Germany, racism in stadiums is not a problem any more. I gladly became involved in the campaign as I believe we should exclude racism and aggressive behaviour from football grounds and stadiums."
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