Before kick off this weekend (21-23 October), players from every Bank of Scotland Premierleague and Football League team in Scotland, will be united in calling for an end to racism in football and in society. Players in 35 European countries are involved in similar events as part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network against racism and discrimination.
At 2pm today, (Tuesday 17th October), at the Scottish Parliament Buildings in Edinburgh, the Fortnight of Action will be launched by a panel comprising:
Tony Higgins – Chair of the Fifpro anti racism committee
Bill Butler – MSP
Dougie Kerr – City of Edinburgh Councillor
Ged Grebby – UK Coordinator Show Racism the Red Card
Jackie McNamara – Scottish PFA
Gerry Britton, Educational coordinator for Show Racism the Red Card, said “This years Fortnight of Action will see the highest number of events taking place since its inception in Scotland, highlighting our ongoing determination to keep racism out of all aspects of Scottish life”.
This year has seen the expansion of our “Coaching with a Conscience” scheme, whereby schoolchildren around the country take part in anti racism workshops delivered by former professional players, including Jim Duffy, Derek Ferguson and Brian Irvine. These workshops have been well received by teachers and pupils alike, and have been instrumental in altering attitudes of children who had displayed a racist outlook prior to their involvement in the workshop.
While this project and the other initiatives implemented by Show Racism the Red Card have been instrumental in the progress of our anti racism campaign, the battle to eradicate racism from all aspects of society goes on. All groups and individuals in our country can play a part in this, by working together to ensure that the mindless minority who engage in racist practices, realise their behaviour is not acceptable in football or in society.
SPL Executive Chariman, Lex Gold stated “Football should serve to bring people together regardless of race, religion or ethnic origin. The SPL supports the Show Racism the Red Card Campaign. We invite everyone to do the same.”
Derek Kirkwood Security Advisor with the SFA said “The SFA fully support Show Racism The Red Card’s Fortnight of Action, we firmly believe that racism must be challenged. It is in the interests of everyone involved in our great game to root racism out of football and society. Football is for everyone irrespective of race, ethnicity or nationality.”
Here’s a brief outline of what’s taking place during the SRTRC Fortnight of Action this year:
· Anti-racist presentations at Dundee United F.C. and St. Johnstone F.C.
· Over sixty events and over two hundred actions taking place in communities nationwide attempting to combat racism in our society (funded by “One Scotland”, the Scottish Executive and the City of Edinburgh Council), including events at Albion Rovers F.C., Queens Park F.C. and Ayr United F.C.
· Show Racism the Red Card squad posters being distributed at various grounds around the country
Check www.theredcardscotland.org for more information and photos from the events taking place as part of the Fortnight of Action.