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UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matchday three games will provide a high-profile platform this week as the European football community comes together to transmit a clear and firm message that discrimination has no place in football.
From Tuesday to Thursday, at every stadium hosting European games, UEFA will be giving its undivided support to its long-standing partner in the fight against racism, the FARE network, as part of the ongoing FARE Action Weeks.
This week's fixtures will not be just about football. It will also be a forum where Europe's biggest teams and their supporters will make their stand against any form of discrimination in football. FARE Action Weeks – which has the theme that we are all 'Football People' who can celebrate diversity and inclusion together through our sport – is Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign involving over 40 countries.
UEFA's commitment to a European football landscape free of racism, intolerance and xenophobia will be emphasised through a series of activities which will be witnessed by thousands of fans in the stadiums, and millions of viewers on television.
A 30-second Respect TV spot will be played on the stadiums' giant screens, and special announcements will be made on the grounds' loudspeakers, encouraging fans to join UEFA in its call to unite against racism. Every team will also be accompanied onto the pitch by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts, and captains will be asked to wear a Unite Against Racism branded armband.
European football's governing body has a zero tolerance stance towards racism, and punishes those found guilty of such behaviour. UEFA President Michel Platini said: "UEFA is committed to tackling discrimination in football, and we encourage football fans to join us in our efforts to value respect for players, officials, opponents and fellow supporters of all nationalities, religious backgrounds, sexual orientation and ethnic origins. For over ten years, we have worked alongside the FARE network and will continue to strive towards unity in football."
Events are taking place during the FARE Action Weeks across Europe involving more than 300 grassroots groups. The activities include workshops, round-table discussions and mini-football tournaments involving fans, clubs, national associations, ethnic minority groups and youth organisations.
The executive director of FARE, Piara Powar, said: “The FARE Action Weeks have become one of the largest social message activities in sport, with involvement from the smallest community groups to some of the biggest clubs in Europe through the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League."
"The theme of 'Football People' reflects the message of unity and inclusiveness that sums up our objectives during this period. UEFA‟s support has been vital in getting our message across to a global football audience.”
Whether you will be supporting your team in the stadium or tuning in from your home, join the call against discrimination in football. Unite – and show that discrimination has no place in the game that we all love.
Learn more about the FARE Action Weeks activities.
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