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Anti-racism organisation Show Racism the Red Card launched its twentieth anniversary year this week with a special educational event at Saint James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United.

FIFPro congratulates its official partner on the achievements of the past two decades, emphasising that football, as well as society, still need initiatives such as Show Racism the Red Card.

Show Racism the Red Card was officially launched on February 15th, 1996 as an anti-racism education programme. It utilises the high-profile status of football and football players to help tackle racism in society by educating young people and adults in their schools, their workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. The charity is based in Newcastle, Great Britain, and it delivers training to approximately 50,000 people annually. The campaign is also used in other countries worldwide, some of FIFPro’s local players’ unions collaborate with them too.

FIFPro started its cooperation with Show Racism the Red Card in 2008, when the worldwide players’ union assisted in creating an educational DVD which included players such as Didier Drogba, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o. Currently FIFPro and Show Racism the Red Card are official partners. If players’ unions want to set up an anti-racism campaign, FIFPro advises them to adapt the Show Racism the Red Card campaign in their country, if there is no experienced organisation working on the ground.

 

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Tony Higgins (photo left), FIFPro spokesperson on anti-racism, attended the Newcastle event. “Yes, it is a wonderful achievement that a quality organisation such as Show Racism the Red Card is celebrating its anniversary. We have come a long way since its establishment in 1996 and many great strides have been made. But that does not imply that racism and discrimination are eradicated from professional football. We unfortunately must also realise that we still need organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card. The fight is far from over”.

“Only in the last couple of weeks, I have seen three high profile examples of racist’ and discriminatory behaviour. In Spain, Barcelona’s Neymar was harassed by fans from Espanyol. In the Netherlands, Ajax’ Riechedly Bazoer was abused by ADO Den Haag hooligans, and two days ago Internazionale coach Roberto Mancini accused his Napoli counterpart Maurizio Sarri of making homophobic insults”.

“We know that racism and discrimination are not problems of football, they are problems of society. But football can play a significant role in minimising these problems. It is important that kids at a very young age are already talking about the differences between people and realise that all humans are equal, whether they are white, black, Muslim, Christian, heterosexual, homosexual, a man or a woman. Football and footballers can be great assets in combating racism and all other forms of discrimination. That’s why FIFPro fully endorses the Show Racism the Red Card campaign”.

Ged Grebby (photo right), Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card, said: “The players unions have always been key supporters of our anti-racism message and we look forward to building on this work in our 20th Anniversary year”.

SRTRC Newcastle 640

Steve Howey, Curtis Fleming, Olivier Bernard (all former players and SRTRC patrons),
Rob Elliot, Jamaal Lascelles and Tony Higgins

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