Welcome to Show Racism The Red Card’s Fortnight of Action, 16 – 30 October 2008. 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.
Show Racism the Red Card would like to thank you for the excellent support the campaign has had since we set up office in Scotland five years ago. That support is producing real results including a significant decrease in the number of incidents of racial abuse reported at Scottish football stadia over the years. 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. Various Supporters Trusts have also been instrumental in spreading our anti racism message throughout the game. In society, racism is sadly on the increase. Scottish Government statistics indicate that there are on average 14 recorded racist incidents a day. The Commission for Racial Equality estimate the true number to be five times this figure. We must all work together to ensure that the mindless minority who engage in racist practices, realise their behaviour is not acceptable in football or in society.
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 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:
- Unveiling of Show Racism the Red Card stadium billboards by Kilmarnock F.C. (sponsored by Unison)
- Over sixty events taking place in communities nationwide to combat racism in our society, including events at Ayr United F.C., Dundee United F.C. and Heart of Midlothian F.C.
- Show Racism the Red Card actions at SPL, SFL, SWPL, SWFL, SJFA 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 on Saturday 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, and record the complaint at www.theredcardscotland.org. Our web site also includes updates on Fortnight of Action events and more information on the “Red Card” campaign in Scotland.