Welcome to Show Racism The Red Card’s Fortnight of Action, 16 – 31 October 2009. Before kick off this weekend, clubs playing at every IRN-BRU Scottish Football League and Scottish Cup ties, will be united in calling for an end to racism in football and in society. Players in over 40 European countries are involved in similar events as part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network against racism and discrimination.
Since establishing an office in Scotland in October 2003 the anti-racist message that Show Racism The Red Card has been promoting has received excellent support from football clubs, football authorities and football fans the length and breadth of Scotland, we would like to thank you for this. This period has not been without it’s challenges, and we urge fans to continue to support the anti-racist message. We have heard of many instances where real supporters have turned on racist fans making it clear that they are not welcome at their club.
In society, racism is sadly still on the rise and there has been an increase in fascist activity. In September 2008, the Scottish Government published a bulletin, which showed that the total number of incidents recorded by the Police in Scotland were 4, 543. These figures provide an indication to the amount of racism that our BAME communities are facing every day. We firmly believe that most racist incidents go unrecorded. Irresponsible groups and media outlets continue to encourage racism against citizens from minority faiths, travellers, immigrants from EU-accession countries, and refugees and asylum-seekers. Within football racism has been directed towards players who were born in Scotland and who elected to play for the Republic of Ireland. The campaign will continue to speak to all football clubs, the football authorities and the police to eradicate all forms of racist behaviour.
The SFL and its Clubs deplore all forms of racist behaviour. Any racist behaviour will not be tolerated at IRN-BRU Scottish Football League fixtures.
David Longmuir, Chief Executive of the Scottish Football League says “The SFL is rooted in its community ethos and that means more than just the local community. Scottish football clubs can and do play an important role in bringing people together, regardless of colour, race or creed. The SFL is firmly committed to supporting Show Racism The Red Card, and our ultimate aim is that clubs, players and fans unite to ensure that racism of any kind has no place in our football family.”
This year we have developed partnerships with a number of local authorities to deliver educational workshops combined with football coaching sessions in a number of regions. The workshops are delivered by professional footballers and professional football clubs, they are a very positive method of educating our young people about the negative impact racism has on Scottish society.
Here’s a brief outline of what’s taking place during the Fortnight of Action this year:
- Love Music, Hate Racism concert in Glasgow (The Classic Grand, Friday 30th October)
- Anti-racist football tournaments and projects in Glasgow, Dingwall, Inverness and Edinburgh
- Over fifty events taking place in communities nationwide to combat racism in our society, including events at Celtic F.C., Dundee United F.C., Falkirk F.C., Heart of Midlothian F.C., Partick Thistle F.C., St Johnstone F.C. and The Spartans F.C.
- Show Racism the Red Card actions at SPL, SFL, SWPL, SWFL, SJFA, SYFA and Scottish Cup matches.
- ‘Unite Against Racism’ actions at UEFA Champions League fixtures.
- Educational workshops in schools and with community groups across Scotland.
Football is a sport that is followed by people across the world, and football matches should be an enjoyable experience for all, whatever their racial or religious background. We hope you enjoy the game today and ask you to support the players’ action before kick- off. We all have a part to play in showing racism the red card.
If you see or hear racism at any level of football, please report it to stewards or police. Our web site also includes updates on Fortnight of Action events and more information on the “Show Racism the Red Card” campaign in Scotland.
To download the Fortnight Of Action 2009 Booklet click here