UEFA will use its UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches later this month to highlight the fight against racism as part of the 2011 FARE Action Weeks.
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UEFA will demonstrate its support for the campaign to eliminate racism from football on its high-level club competition platform as part of the Action Weeks being run by its partner, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, from 12 to 25 October.
As in previous years, European football's governing body will show its backing for the campaign through a series of actions on the third matchdays of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League – 18/19 and 20 October respectively. Past seasons' activities have emphasised UEFA's zero-tolerance policy towards any form of racism, discrimination or intolerance.
The 2011 FARE Action Weeks are themed "Football People". The objective is to challenge discrimination and celebrate the contribution we all make to football, wherever we live, whatever our connection to the game or our background. The weeks aim to encourage initiatives and activities that address problems, or honour success, within clubs and communities. They allow people to join together across Europe to present a unified stand.
UEFA and FARE are marking ten years of partnership. "I think it has been a very productive decade for us. Working with the European governing body, the confederation, has been very, very important for two reasons – one, really, to allow us to get our message out more efficiently, to get it out in a targeted way, and to work with the football family in a united front, to say 'this is an issue that we have and these are the things we are doing about it'; and then secondly because, unfortunately, there remains a problem of racism and other forms of discrimination in the game," said FARE executive director Piara Powar.
Alongside activities by professional clubs and leagues, in addition to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League platforms, the weeks give fans, minority groups and grassroots clubs the opportunity to celebrate the inclusive power of the game.
UEFA, FIFPRo and FARE are inviting supporters groups or community organisations to make their own contributions to the Action Weeks – from organising fan choreographies to distributing anti-racist material, holding exhibitions, working with (former) players on events, and staging fan workshops.
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