MINELRES: ERIO: UEFA against Anti-Gypsyism

MINELRES moderator minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Mar 18 19:10:56 2005


Original sender: Valeriu Nicolae <valeriu.nicolae@erionet.org>


"UEFA's policy of total opposition to all forms of racism and xenophobia
has been known for some time, 
and we continue to urge all member associations, leagues and clubs to
develop their own initiatives to 
raise awareness and oppose racism at a national and local level." 
 

Press Release
European Roma Information Office (ERIO) 10 March, 2005

The Euro-Champions League match last night between Arsenal and Bayern
Munchen was preceded by the awarding of a symbolic cheque by the Union
of European Football Associations (UEFA) for the fight against racism in
football.

The European Roma Information Office has strongly advocated the
elimination of anti-Gypsyism from stadiums around Europe. 

ERIO through his acting director, Valeriu Nicolae, was one of the
symbolic recipients of the cheque last night on the pitch at Highbury.

Rampant anti-Gypsyism in Europe has seen its worst in Europe’s stadiums.
Huge banners with slogans such as “Death to the Gypsies” or “Who let the
crows out?” are frequently displayed. There were official websites of
football clubs, which offered online games where players could hunt down
Roma. Racial slurs against football players suspected of being Roma are
frequently heard. 

ERIO considers the action undertaken by UEFA to be an exceptional
example, considering that the anti-Gypsyism prevalent all over Europe
has been, until now, downplayed in practice by international and
European institutions. Despite many reports by these institutions
confirming that Roma are the largest yet most discriminated against
ethnic minority in Europe, concrete action and strong political messages
against anti-Gypsyism are still missing.

ERIO, based in Brussels, believes that the National Football Federation
as well as football clubs should commit themselves to similar measures
and use the great potential of football to promote a message of
tolerance. 

Hate speech on the stadiums and widespread on the online fan forums of
European football teams have a strong and distinct component targeting
Roma. The step forward taken by UEFA in fighting Anti-Gypsyism should be
followed-up by more comprehensive actions coming from the European
Institution and National Governments meant to tackle the social
exclusion and discrimination faced by European Roma, concluded the
organisation.


For latest information on anti-Gypsyism please go to:
http://www.erionet.org/AntigypsyismB.htm


Valeriu Nicolae 
Executive Director ad interim ERIO
European Roma Information Office
Avenue Edouard Lacomble 17 
Brussels 1040
BELGIUM

Tel : 0032 (0) 2733 34 62
Fax: 0032 2733 3875
Mobile :0032 (0) 476538194
www.erionet.org 
 
P.S. Note from the editor: Related article is on
http://www.uefa.com/uefa/News/Kind=128/newsId=37750.html.