During match day 12 of the tipico Bundesliga (18 /19 October) and match day 15 of the Sky Go first league (20 / 21 October) all team captains will make public statements at the team line-up to speak out against racism, homophobia and sexism. The action will be followed by the top women’s league in on 1 and 2 November, when they will also send out the “No place for discrimination!” message. The Women’s Bundesliga will be the only top flight women’s league in Europe to participate as whole in the FARE “Football People” action weeks.
The joint initiative of the FARE member organisation FairPlay. Different Colours. One Game, the Austrian Football Bundesliga, the Austrian FA, the Women Bundesliga, as well as many amateur clubs and fan groups is highlighting education and prevention. The focus this season is on fighting homophobia.
The Austrian Football League – a role model in Europe
Since 2004 the stadium actions of the Austrian Bundesliga in October have reached out to more than 500.000 fans directly. Thus, over the last decade the action weeks have developed into the largest campaign for diversity in Austrian sports and have become an integral part in the calendar of the Bundesliga clubs.
At all upcoming matches the team captains will use a microphone to address their fans and call for support for combating discrimination. Further campaign measures include the screening of the UEFA “No to Racism” video spot, the free distribution of brochures, posters and stickers and the involvement of fan groups. Children with FairPlay T-shirts and a “No place for discrimination” banner will accompany the players onto the pitch.
Bundesliga Chief Executive, Christian Ebenbauer, says,
“the Austrian Football Bundesliga and its clubs speak out firmly against any form of discrimination. Therefore, it is our utmost concern to play an important role in the international FARE action weeks. The implementation and placement of the messages does always go together with the involvement of organised supporter groups. With their dominant voice in the stands the actions taken by fans contribute profoundly to the fight against discrimination and racism."
David Hudelist, of the FairPlay. Different Colours. One Game initiative adds,
"the participation of the Austrian Bundesliga and their 20 clubs is very encouraging and it takes place on very high, professional level, even when compared on a European level. It is also encouraging that some clubs want to remain active beyond the period of the action weeks. This is also the aim of the stadium days - we want to create awareness in Austrian football and work together with all stakeholders. The issue of homophobia is still taboo for many; and in particular on an amateur level we still witness cases of racism, sexism and xenophobia."
The national team to give the start
The prelude to the 15th edition of the FARE action weeks was the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier Austria against Montenegro on Sunday at Vienna's Ernst Happel Stadium. Before the kick-off both teams presented the message "No to Racism".
Austria’s star, David Alaba, son of a Filipino nurse and a Nigerian musician, puts emphasis on the responsibility of players:
“Education and well-directed information campaigns could be enhanced. Racism and extremism are phenomena of our society that are also reflected in football, and I think it is a task of our society to firmly counter such phenomena. We players can try to act as ambassadors."
The FARE action weeks in Austria are coordinated by the Fair Play initiative at VIDC and supported by the Ministry of Sport, the Austrian FA, the Austrian Football League, the City of Vienna, FARE and UEFA.
Download the Austrian FairPlay info poster here
For the English List of Activities in Austria please visit:
Additional information on the Football People action weeks is available on the FARE website
FairPlay. Different Colours. One Game / VIDC
1040 Vienna, Austria
Tel. +43 1 7133594-93