“Time to step up the fight against racism and discrimination”

Zürich, 11 October 2002 - “We have talked about it. We have put those words into action. But now I think it is time for us to take our efforts to a higher level and lead the fight against discrimination in football with renewed vigour. With this in mind, I wholeheartedly support UEFA’s recent declarations on this issue.” FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today expressed his strong opinions of recent incidents involving racist taunts and acts in European stadiums.

Joseph S. Blatter stressed that the entire FIFA family rejected all forms of discrimination during the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Buenos Aires on 7 July 2001, a meeting that also saw the adoption of a resolution following the FIFA Against Racism conference, held in the Argentine capital the day before.

“These resolutions are now more than ever in the spotlight,” commented Blatter. “At the last meeting of the executive on 23-24 September 2002, I talked about five areas that FIFA must now concentrate upon, especially as they have been neglected recently. One of these areas deals with ‘Fair Play and security’, with the working group to be led by Senes Erzik. The issue of discrimination will also be on our agenda for the first meeting in December,” said the FIFA President.

Although racism and discrimination can sometimes create problems in stadiums, FIFA is aware that this scourge extends far beyond the football family. The FIFA President therefore called upon all bodies – whether sporting, political, cultural or social – to take whatever steps are necessary in the struggle to rid society of all forms of discrimination.


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FIFA Communications Division
Zürich, 11 October 2002