Club Brugge take stance against racism

"Racism has no place in football, or in the world," said Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, with Club Brugge KV proud to be wearing 'No To Racism' on their shirts this week.

Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and coach Michel Preud'homme showcase Club Brugge's 'No To Racism' shirt
Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo and coach Michel Preud'homme showcase Club Brugge's 'No To Racism' shirt ©UEFA.com

UEFA President Michel Platini has congratulated Club Brugge KV after the Belgian team decided to wear a 'No To Racism'-branded shirt in their UEFA Europa League round of 16 opener against Beşiktaş JK on Thursday.

"We applaud this initiative by Club Brugge," said Mr Platini. "UEFA has a zero-tolerance policy towards all kinds of discrimination and we are working diligently in order to make sure the world of football is more tolerant and inclusive. UEFA is proud of its 'No To Racism' campaign and it is great to see our stakeholders engaging with it."

Club Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme is right behind the initiative too, explaining: "Football is the best example of how to build a society. I have played and worked in several nations and continents myself. We speak all languages in training sessions. Inside football things are perfect. The problems always come from the outside. Inside teams there are never problems."

Congolese defender Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo is pleased to say he has never had any problems with racism during his playing career, though the 19-year-old recognises the importance of Club Brugge's gesture. "Racism has no place in football, or in the world," he stressed. "So I really appreciate that my own club are doing this now."

The club's general manager Vincent Mannaert added: "Club Brugge are completely behind UEFA's 'No To Racism' campaign. As the most popular football club in Belgium, Club Brugge want to lead the way in terms of zero tolerance against racism. We did that recently already, giving stadium bans to so-called supporters who were guilty of such despicable behaviour. With this gesture, we are underlining our commitment on the European stage."

Since 2001, UEFA and FARE have cooperated on the 'No To Racism' project, but Club Brugge will be the first club to wear the slogan on their shirts in a European game.

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