Violence in sport


Interview with Patrick Gasser

UEFA Official – Football and Social Responsibility

Question : As the UEFA offical focusing on social responsibility, how do you think fans can be steered away from racist or bigoted attitudes?

UEFA’nın sosyal sorumluluk hakkındaki resmi yetkilisi olarak, taraftarların ırkçı ve bağnaz tutumlara nasıl

P. Gasser : Racism and discrimination are a problem of society. What is happening in and around football is a reflection of society.

Irkçılık ve ayrımcılık sosyal problemlerdir. Futbolda ve futbol etrafında gerçekleşenler toplumun bir yansımasıdır.

With the UEFA campaign “Respect diversity”, “unite against racism” UEFA takes a stand against any form of racism and discrimination in society and around football. UEFA does this by putting the far reaching media platform of our major tournaments at the disposal of awareness campaigns. We complete this approach by educational measures, and by imposing sanctions on clubs, players and fans. Since 2003 UEFA has held every 3rd year a Pan-European unite against racism conference and regularly trains referees, match delegates and observers and closely cooperates in partnership with the network of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE).

Further, we work on the issue together with the European Parliament and EC commissions and the Council of Europe and have reinforced sanctions to the point where clubs are to play behind closed doors without spectators.
In brief, we conduct this as comprehensive approach which goes hand in hand with many other players in scoiety. The objective is to reduce the level of racism and discrimination in society not only in football.

Question: Certainly the vast majority of fans are good natured football lovers, but there are some bad apples as in any case. Do you see disciplinary measures taken in the stands by police?

P. Gasser: The most effective way in the stands to reduce or stop discriminative behaviour is when fellow spectators/fans react when some start chanting monkey noises or to throw banana peals etc.

Question: Do you envision a long-term campaign to educate people regarding race and origin?

P. Gasser: Yes

Question: If so, how?

P. Gasser: In a comprehensive approach by all players in civil society as described above, racism and discrimination are deeply rooted in our society.

Question: Television spots?

P. Gasser: Yes we are right now working on a giant screen spot to be shown at each of the 31 games at EURO2008 Public service announcements? UEFA will dedicate the 1/2 finals of the EURO2008 to the UniteAgainstRacism campaign and ask team captains to make and anti racism statement, live on television just before kick off. This should reach millions and not only the 40′ or 60’000 in the stadia

Question: Could you give examples of what UEFA does to promote social responsibility in this regard?

P. Gasser: We will have team captains wear uniteagainstracism branded captains armbands at all of the 31 EURO2008 games and we have obtained pitch side advertising board space from a national sponsor allowing to convey a “No to Racism” message and have as a result from the 2006 uniteagainstracism conference issued guidelines for clubs on how best to tackle racism.