Football for Equality Project - Tackling homophobia and racism with a focus on Central and Eastern Europe!

Mondiali Antirazzisti | July 2010

Guarding Equal Rights

"Football for Equality" - Banner at the Mondiali 2010
"Football for Equality" - Banner at the Mondiali 2010

Football games, music, concerts and party in the summer - thousands of participants of the Mondiali Antirazzisti 2010 didn't only enjoy such cultural events. They also highlighted the topics of homophobia and sexism with the goal to combat them. And that with a little help from the project "Football for Equality".

Casalecchio di Reno, a town near Bologna submontane to the Colle della Guardia, the Hill of Guard. Here, from July 7th to 11th 2010, equal rights have been guarded: "We have to be aware that equality can't exist if not all citizens living in one country enjoy the same equal rights", declared the organizers of the 14th Mondiali Antirazzisti, the Antracist World Cup, that took place in Casalecchio. True to that remark, the Mondiali was dedicated to the topic of equal rights.

30.000 with various Backgrounds

Amazing 30.000 people joined the annual event. Traditonally, the football tournament has a non-competitive and non-commercial character and gathers teams with various backgrounds. The Mondiali has strong roots among fans and the number of participating teams has grown over the years. Last summer, most of them were anti-racist groups, ethnic minority and migrant teams or teams from ultrà and other fan groups.

In addition 204 teams from 34 different countries visited the alternative World Cup, and that during the final games of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In contradiction to the separation of male and female at professional level, a majority of 132 teams were mixed, 68 were made up only of males, four of females. Openly gay and lesbian teams also participated in the tournament, the Saturday afternoon was reserved for the women football tournament.

Fair Play and Music

For all of them, tackling was only allowed to forms of discrimination, as the football games followed the principles of fair play. No referees led the games, only pitch officials were responsible for time and score. Apart from the football, music, concerts and party completed the antiracist festival. Each night bands from Spain (La Maquina), Germany (Jamaram) and Italy (The Gang, Malavida and Los Fastidios) performed on the big open air stage.

Initially the Mondiali was established as a grassroots demonstration against racism, the inclusion of ethnic minorities and the compliance of civil rigths in football. These topics has been broadened by taboo topics of sexism and homophobia, especially at the last event 2010.

Debate on Gender Stereotypes

In the course of the Mondiali the FARE partners "Unione Italiana Sport Per Tutti" (UISP) and Comitato Regionale Emilia Romagna - Progetto Ultrà sucessfully arranged several activities that followed the programme of the project "Football for Equality", that had been established at the Vienna Networking Conference in December 2009.

The issues of homophobia and sexism were discussed at the Sensitisation Workshop, which was organized by "Football for Equality". Later on a discussion on "Deconstruction of gender stereotypes" took place on Friday evening: Gaia Giuliani (University Sydney), Porpora Marciano (MIT), Jason Hall (Justin Campaign) and Silvia Cavalieri (Donne Pensanti) debated about practical ways to tackle stereotypes in football at the main meeting and event point Piazza Antirazzista.

Banners for Equality

And at Piazza Antirazzista, "Football for Equality" was notably mentioned as posters were displayed. On the ground three banners of the EU-campaign were presented. The campaign was mainly funded by the European Commission (DG Justice) under the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme and the FAREs annual action plan supported by UEFA. The Antiracist World Cup, although, is fighting with a precarious financial situation. Caused by two devastating thunderstorms in 2009 . So the organizers called for contributions, hoping the Mondiali will survive and by doing so continue to guard equal rights.


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