MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence

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European Forum for Urban Security

MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Published by the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), this document is the result of the MATCH-SPORT (Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination) project, carried out between 2019 and 2021. It has been written by Martí Navarro Regàs (Programme Manager) and Nathalie Bourgeois, and produced under the supervision of Elizabeth Johnston (Executive Director) and Carla Napolano (Deputy Director), with contributions from the project’s partners. Use and reproduction are royalty free if the purpose is non-commercial and the source is acknowledged. Proofreading: Nickolas Woods Layout: Marie Aumont Printing: Technicom, Boulogne-Billancourt Printed in June 2021 ISBN: 9782913181847 Legal deposit: June 2021 European Forum for Urban Security 10, rue des Montiboeufs 75020 Paris - France Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 64 49 00 -

This publication was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. It reflects the views of the authors only; the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

European Forum for Urban Security

MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level



The MATCH-SPORT project was carried out with the commitment and engagement of partner cities and experts who contributed to its different components and to the drafting of this publication. We would like to thank them for their commitment throughout the project and their generosity in sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise, thereby supporting the success of our common goals. We would also like to thank all those who contributed to the numerous events, both physical and online, meetings, study visits and general discussions organised within the framework of the project. Their efforts to promote amateur sport as a tool to increase social cohesion at the local level and their tireless fight to prevent discriminatory violence within their action areas have been the inspiration for the entire project, as these are the true drivers of progress towards more tolerant cities. Finally, we would like to thank the European Commission, and in particular the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, for its financial support, without which this project and publication would not have been possible.


Project partners The MATCH-SPORT project was carried out thanks to the participation of the project partners, experts and local authorities. Their contributions and interest in creating more resilient societies through their fight against discriminatory violence in amateur sport is both at the origin of the project and the objective we strive to achieve. The concrete actions carried out through the project would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of the people who committed themselves to carrying out this project, namely: City of Liège (Salomon Aktan, Alain Jacques, Michel Faway), City of Lisbon (João Fale, Miguel Pacheco, João Pedro Monteiro), City of Loano (Gianluigi Soro, Marina Papaleo), City of Maranello (Marialena Millili, Monica Medici), City of Nea Propontida (Dimitris Rossakis, Elisabet Papoulidou, Asterios Papastergiou), City of Valence (David Buisson, Nicolas Riffard, Guillaume Martin), Europäische Sportakademie Land Brandenburg (Silvester Stahl), Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti (Daniela Conti, Carlo Balestri), Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna (Maria Isaura Almeida, Sérgio Felgueiras).

Other contributors Racing White Daring Molenbeek (Jean-François Lenvain).


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level


Table of contents


Foreword.........................................................................p. 8 Introduction.................................................................p. 10 Part 1. State of the art .................................................p. 16 Part 2. Pilot actions and trainings ............................p. 29 Part 3. Communication campaign ................................... p. 36 Part 4. Recommendations ..........................................p. 42 Part 5. Selected resources and complementary information.................................p. 45


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level



Amateur sport can foster social change and inclusivity among children, youngsters and their parents. Indeed, a sports club is a good place for instructors and volunteers, notably parents, to carry out educational activities with young practitioners. Parents in particular are often closely involved in their child's club. Because amateur sport is accessible to all and clubs have a local ‘clientele’, it can play an educational role with sports lovers, the public and volunteers, notably parents. At the local level, it can be a precious tool to enhance social cohesion, prevent crime and violence, and teach values of tolerance, equality, diversity and respect. Thus, when local authorities work side by side with amateur clubs or associations, sport really becomes a useful prevention tool that can easily be applied to a whole territory, whether in large cities or small towns. However, issues of violence and specifically discriminatory violence hinder the beneficial impact of amateur sport and need to be tackled. Even if sports federations and clubs are aware of these issues and take action to suppress or prevent them, they often struggle to address the problem in a holistic and consistent manner, and in cooperation with all the relevant actors. Efus designed and led the MATCH-SPORT project, with the help of the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, to support local authorities and sports organisations in working together on reducing violence, discrimination, racism and intolerance in amateur sport through the exchange of expertise and practices. The main goals of the project were to develop or strengthen programmes to counter and prevent violence in amateur sport, to help local authorities increase their knowledge on violence and prevention strategies, and to empower local partners by providing them with suitable and adequate tools to respond with an integrated, multi-sectoral approach.


MATCH-SPORT follows previous European projects developed and led by Efus, on the one hand to use sport as a tool to foster social inclusion, and on the other hand to prevent discrimination. Efus has been working for decades on these issues, including recently through the SPORT+ project for social integration through sport, and the JUST (“Just and Safer Cities for All”) project on the role of local and regional authorities in preventing discriminatory violence. This publication presents the project’s main outcomes, i.e. a pan-European survey of discrimination in amateur sport and prevention measures taken at the national, regional and local level; promising practices introduced locally throughout Europe; the communication campaign created by the project, which is available to all local and regional authorities that are members of Efus; and the training programme designed and implemented by the project for local authorities and sports stakeholders. We hope it will be of interest to you and inspire you to either renew or broaden your existing schemes or initiate new ones. And we encourage you to share these practices with Efus, as they can inspire other local and regional authorities throughout Europe.

Elizabeth Johnston Efus Executive Director


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> A retrospective on Efus’ work: why we created MATCH-SPORT The MATCH-SPORT project: local authorities working with local actors How to address the issue of violence, racism, discrimination and intolerance in sport and, more specifically, in amateur sport? Through the MATCH-SPORT project, local authorities and sport organisations have been working together on reducing violence, discrimination, racism and intolerance in amateur sport through the exchange of expertise and practices.

Acknowledging there is an issue of discrimination and racism It is common knowledge that sport can play an important role in educating youngsters in civic values, such as respect for others, team spirit and the benefits of personal effort, to name a few. Indeed, numerous studies have been conducted over the years in different countries on the societal benefits of sport. In Europe, the European Commission “believes that sport plays a vital role not only in individual health and fitness, but also in shaping our wider European society”. Furthermore, it states that sport should “foster a sense of social inclusion and integration, particularly for marginalised groups” and contribute to “eliminating racism and xenophobia and creating gender equality”.1 In the “Pierre de Coubertin Action Plan” published by the European Observatory of Sport and Employment in 2007, the EU said that the “prevention of and fight against racism and violence in sport [should be] top priorities”, which can be delivered “by promoting dialogue and best

1-European Commission, “About Sport Policy”,


practice exchanges in the existing cooperation framework and strengthening cooperation among law enforcement services, sport organisations and other stakeholders”. More recently, the EU 2017–2020 Plan for Sport sets the objective of promoting a “cooperative and concerted approach among institutions from different member states and where appropriate with the sport movement and other relevant stakeholders to deliver added value in the field of sport at EU level”. Many campaigns have been and are being conducted at the national and international levels to prevent discrimination and racism in professional sport, notably in football, by far the most popular sport in Europe. However, racism in amateur sport rarely makes headlines, even though it does exist, mirroring societal trends. Similarly, there are few studies on this issue. In France, the National Observatory on Crime and Criminal Justice Responses (Observatoire national de la délinquance et des réponses pénales, ONDRP) published a report in 2017 that examined discriminatory violence in amateur sport, including among young players. The French National Council of Sport and Physical Activities (Conseil national des activités physiques et sportives) conducted a study in 2007 involving various stakeholders, including local authorities. The report notably highlighted the role of parents, as they are sometimes part of the problem. The study also revealed that the pressure on youngsters to obtain good results, including from coaches, volunteers and parents, can fuel violence. In 2009, the European Forum for Migration Studies, based in Germany, published a country report on racism, xenophobia and structural discrimination in sports (encompassing amateur practices) in Germany. It observed that there is a “broad consensus that migrants are under-represented in sport clubs” not only as members but also as part of the staff. The gap is even more significant when approached from a gender perspective: if in a few particular sports male migrants have a high participation rate, “migrant girls and women, in particular Muslim girls, are largely under-represented in organised sport”.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

Concerning gender discrimination and the related gender-based violence, a 2016 report by the European Commission confirmed the analysis of the above-mentioned German report. It is to be noted that, at the EU level, 65% of member states' male citizens practice sport, but only 56% of female citizens do so, which reflects underlying cultural and social prejudices against girls playing sport, but also the fact that there are generally fewer offers of amateur sports for girls. In light of this situation, and building on its experience of conducting projects to tackle violence in sport and promote tolerance, Efus designed the MATCH-SPORT project to look at how to locally counter and prevent discriminatory violence in amateur sport, in particular among the young.

MATCH-SPORT in the context of Efus’ work to prevent discriminatory violence Efus has long-standing experience in supporting violence prevention through sport. Its collaboration with the Council of Europe on this issue dates back over 20 years, and it has more recently been working with the European Commission. Efus has been working on crime prevention and safety at major sports events since the “Euro 2000 Cities Against Racism” project, which already recognised the power of sport to bring communities closer. Furthermore, it explored the indirect consequences of discriminatory or violent incidents in professional sport (even more so in worldwide renowned competitions, such as the football World Cup, the Super Bowl or the Olympics) on shaping the behaviours we see in amateur sport at grassroots level. Other EU projects have since furthered Efus’ expertise on the subject: the GOAL project (2009–2012) supported cities in developing an integrated preventive approach when hosting large sports events, and the “Sport+ European Award for Social Inclusion through Sport” (2015– 2016) showcased proven or promising initiatives for the prevention of racism or discrimination through sport (mainly amateur), which could inspire other authorities or NGOs at the local, regional, national or European level.


Acting locally against discriminatory violence in amateur sport The MATCH-SPORT project’s main objective was to analyse the phenomenon of violence, particularly discriminatory violence in amateur sport, and to offer training and support to local authorities and local sport clubs to act against it, with a special focus on volunteer parents and with gender-based discrimination and violence as a crosscutting theme. An important aspect of the project is that it considers discriminatory violence as a violent incident that the victim, a witness or any other person perceives as being motivated by prejudice, intolerance, bias or hate, and which may or may not constitute a criminal offence under the relevant criminal code. This definition allows for a broad array of incidents to be included, when more often than not they are ignored by law enforcement agencies or other authorities even though they can seriously dent social cohesion at the local level: from “minor” issues to the more diluted but extremely damaging structural discriminatory violence. Hence MATCH-SPORT’s objectives were to:

 Develop or strengthen programmes to counter and prevent discriminatory violence in amateur sport, in particular clubs or activities involving volunteer parents. The idea is to train parents so they do not condone any type of discrimination and on the contrary educate their children in behaving in a tolerant manner.

 Enable local authorities to build or strengthen local partnerships with local sports stakeholders (clubs and federations), and raise awareness of discrimination and racism.

 Empower local partners by providing them with suitable and adequate response tools, as they are often well aware of existing problems but ill-equipped to address them.

 Specifically address the gender issue by examining the extent to which violent incidents in amateur sport are motivated by gender discrimination. In particular, the project created links with other European projects on sport that focus on the prevention of, and fight against, gender discrimination.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

Sharing the project’s learnings with other European cities This brochure has been written with the objective of transferring the project’s key results to other European local and regional authorities, and providing them with tools that can be easily applied to their specific context in order to improve discrimination prevention in amateur sport. The majority of the outputs presented here can be found in full in the MATCH-SPORT section of Efus’ website ( or on the Erasmus+ Project Results Platform. The brochure is structured as follows:

Part 1: State-of-the-art of discriminatory violence in amateur sport in seven European countries This part provides an overview of the desk research conducted in the project’s six partner countries plus the United Kingdom with the objective of assessing the awareness on violence and discrimination in amateur sport on the one hand, and the actions undertaken to address it on the other. Though the scope of the study is mainly from the perspective of local authorities, we decided that in order to understand the phenomenon in its entirety, it was necessary to have a look at the national and European levels. The research has allowed the partners to identify priority areas and thus build the basis for the project’s actions.

Part 2: From research to concrete actions – the local pilot projects and the training sessions This section summarises the concrete actions taken by the project’s partner cities with the support of the project’s experts in response to the issues previously identified. Associating local sport clubs and associations, each pilot action addressed an issue deemed a priority by the city, such as the involvement of parents in clubs’ activities, the prevention of violence between players and spectators, or the fight against sexual harassment and discrimination. In the same way, the cities chose different ways to implement these actions, whether as training sessions, festivals or meetings.


Part 3: #weplayfair, an online awareness-raising campaign This part presents the online awareness campaign created by the project and launched for the European Week of Sport in September 2020. We explain why it is important to use appropriate tools to reach the appropriate target audience. We also present a co-production methodology to create an online awareness campaign that takes into account the needs and priorities of both the promoters (i.e. in this case the cities) and the target audiences. Finally, we share the campaign kit itself, which is designed as a modular and adaptable how-to tool for local authorities wishing to raise awareness of the subject matter.

Part 4: MATCH-SPORT’s local policy recommendations Part 4 includes policy recommendations elaborated by the project partners for local and regional authorities. These recommendations are the result of the many exchanges, both physically and online, conducted during the project. They reflect the core principles of the MATCH-SPORT consortium, which inspired and guided all the project’s decisions and actions.

Part 5: Selected resources and further information Concluding the brochure, part 5 lists a series of documents for further information and understanding of Efus’ stance on the issue of discriminatory violence on the one hand, and on sport as a means to strengthen social cohesion on the other.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level


Part 1


State of the art



I. Establishing a state-of-the-art of discrimination in amateur sport in Europe

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Many European projects and reports have been produced over the years on the topic of violence in sport, and more specifically supporters' behaviour at large events, notably professional football matches. However, little research has been conducted on violence in amateur football and other sports at the local level, which is regrettable given the significant influence of sport in children's education and well-being. Indeed, if violent and/or discriminatory incidents do happen in amateur sport unbeknownst to us, or are poorly detected and measured, there is a risk that our children end up learning toxic behaviours that they will reproduce later in life. Discriminatory behaviours greatly harm and reduce the potential beneficial effects of amateur sport, not only in the sense of physical and mental well-being but also in terms of its educational role, enhancement of social cohesion and promotion of a fairer and more welcoming society. Having worked for some two decades on issues of violence in sport and discrimination in its various forms, coupled with constant exchanges with our member cities and network of partners, we at Efus are well aware of the issues that need to be addressed in this area. This is precisely why we designed the MATCH-SPORT project. Given the paucity of comprehensive studies on this matter, it made sense to start the project with a pan-European survey on the state of play: to what extent is discriminatory violence prevalent in amateur sport? Are amateur clubs aware of it? What preventive measures have they put in place? What is the role of coaches, club managers, but also crucially of parents? What can local authorities do to promote fairness and tolerance in amateur sport? These are the questions we set out to answer with MATCH-SPORT's state-of-the-art study. It was conducted in the six countries represented in the project's consortium, i.e. Belgium, France, Germany,


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

Greece, Italy and Portugal. We also included examples and practices from the UK where there are numerous innovative and promising schemes. This analysis was done in collaboration with the expert organisations, the cities and the associated local sport clubs on the basis of a literature review and their long-standing experience in the field. Furthermore, Efus analysed how legislation has evolved over the years at the European Union level.

Growing awareness in the European Union Up until the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the European Union had no specific competence in the area of sport. Building on the Pierre de Coubertin Action Plan (which provided the basis for the first EU strategy on sport), the treaty allows the EU to promote or complement actions carried out within the framework of member states' internal policies. The first two paragraphs of Article 165 are particularly interesting because they define actions that the EU did carry out afterwards: they highlight the importance of sport's “educational and social role” and state the EU's commitment to “develop the European dimension of sport” (as confirmed by the January 2011 European Commission's Communication). Furthermore, they encourage member states to “promote sport's fairness and openness” and to “protect sport practitioners’ physical and moral integrity”.

Two action plans on sport These documents establish a legal basis for the EU's financial and structural support for national sport policies, which later evolved into action programmes such as the Erasmus+ funding scheme and the European Week of Sport. The European Union further developed its sport policy through two action plans (2014–2017 and 2017–2020), the most recent of which recognises the need to strengthen sport's governance mechanisms in order to make them more inclusive, and highlights the role of coaches, club managers and referees in this effort.


Varying degrees of awareness at the European level European federations that govern the various national sports federations have different levels of awareness, but there seems to “exist a certain attitude of denial on the part of certain sports federations and clubs as regards the existence of racism and racial discrimination in their particular sport discipline”.2 This does not mean that European federations do not take into account or are not aware of the issues caused by racist violence. As the analysis of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)3 conducted in 2010 in the 27 EU members shows, the fight against racism is mentioned in most federations’ and clubs’ statutes and regulations, but the vast majority tend not to offer any disciplinary sanction or preventive measures (only the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA; the Union of European Football Associations, UEFA; and the European Cricket Council contemplate such measures in their statutes). The FRA report also shows that only 16 member states (out of the 27 polled) took action in cases of racism and ethnic discrimination in sport. Furthermore, it reveals that racist incidents also occur in amateur sports, particularly in football and basketball. In child and youth football, such incidents happen among the players and between coaches. Even if the problem is well known in football and is tackled by many federations, in other sports it is often overlooked and data availability is limited to major media-covered incidents, which makes “everyday discrimination” difficult to detect.

The national level: four broad types of action At the national level, which encompasses not only national federations and club associations but also national government policies, there is increasing awareness of the issue, which translates into different kinds of action. The MATCH-SPORT project has identified four categories of

2- ECRI General Policy Recommendation No.12 on Combating racism and racial discrimination in the field of sport (19 December 2008) 3- Racism, ethnic discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport: A comparative overview of the situation in the European Union (FRA, October 2010)


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

tools in the fight against discrimination in sport at the national level. In each category, you will find a few selected examples of concrete actions undertaken in the analysed countries.

Adopting an ethical code In the majority of the countries represented in the MATCH-SPORT consortium, the creation of an ethical code is one of the first and most basic actions, in line with the recommendation of the Council of Europe. Indeed, in 2010 the EU’s Committee of Ministers updated the previous 1992 Code of Ethics. The Recommendation No. R (92) 14 Rev. puts great emphasis on social inclusion through sport and encourages member states to adopt a Code of Ethics. In 2014, Portugal adopted the Code of Sporting Ethics in Portugal4, which establishes norms of conduct intended to guide the actions of the different sports actors, whether players, coaches, teachers, schools, referees, parents, physicians, spectators or the media. In Italy, the Olympic Committee adopted a Code of Sport Behaviour in 2012 aimed at athletes, managers, coaches and referees at all levels (sport federations, sport-for-all associations and sports clubs). This code includes the principles of non-violence and non-discrimination.5 Also, in 2018, the Italian Union for Sports for All (Unione Italiana Sport per tutti, UISP) produced a Code of Ethics for all its members and affiliates.6 France adopted its Code in 2012 and its National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) issued a Charter for Ethics and Deontology (Charte d’éthique et de déontologie).7 It is comprehensive and includes specific recommendations for implementation.

4- O Manual Plano Nacional de Ética no Desporto (PNED) (José Carlos Novais Lima & Paulo José Carvalho Marcolino, 2012) 5- pdf 6- 2018.pdf 7-F. Massey, R. Monnereau, (2010), Prévention des actes d'incivilité et de violence dans le sport : recensement des initiatives existantes, préconisations pour une stratégie d'intervention, Inspection générale de la Jeunesse et des Sports


In Belgium, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation adopted a Charter for the Sport Movement – Let’s Live Sport (Charte du Mouvement Sportif – Vivons Sport) in 2014 that clearly states that all associations/federations have a duty to respect and implement its principles. In the United Kingdom, the national Sports Councils published The Equality Standard: A Framework for Sport in 2004, which was updated in 2014. It details key principles and actions for sports organisations to take in achieving equality in sport. The standard reflects UK laws, specifically the Equality Act 2010.

Establishing new rules and regulations A complementary step is the adoption of laws that specifically target violence and discrimination in sport. Indeed, legislative action is an important support for the ethical code, when there is one. Different types and degrees of law as well as the right object of the protection express the priorities of each country and are, in several cases, a reflection of incidents that caused social alarm. Over the years, we can see an evolution of the object of the laws: from those targeting hardcore supporters to those combatting racism and more recently hate speech. In the majority of cases, these laws are to be applied in all kinds of sport activities, whether professional or amateur. Here are some examples: Italy has mainly adopted a repressive policy ever since legislation on violence in sports was first introduced in 1989. Authorities now have a range of repressive tools such as banning loud cheering devices (megaphones, drums, etc.), cancelling rail services for supporters, and banning orders restricting access to stadiums. It is to be noted that such measures are for the most part targeted at professional football. Greece has seen an increase in the number and intensity of violent incidents in sports over the past few decades. Successive governments have enacted dozens of laws, the most important being the 2015 law on “Urgent Measures to Combat Violence in Sport and Other Provisions”. Another law was passed in 2019 that includes emergency measures to combat violence in sport.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

In Portugal, a law enacted in 2009 and updated in 2018 established a legal regime to combat violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance at sporting events.

Implementing prevention strategies Other kinds of national prevention strategies include the creation of specialised bodies or institutions dedicated to monitoring violence in sport and exercising the state's authority in this respect. This category is inherently broad as it encompasses many different types of concrete actions, each modelled after the country’s resources and priorities. Portugal thus created the National Authority for the Prevention of and Fight Against Violence in Sport (ANPCVD according to the Portuguese acronym). In France, the Ministry of Health and Sport and the Ministry of Youth issued recommendations in 2010 for a comprehensive response strategy against violence and racism in sport. The other countries represented in the MATCH-SPORT consortium do not have a national prevention strategy per se, although sports bodies have programmes and actions to tackle racism and other forms of discrimination (e.g. in Italy and the UK).

Promoting awareness campaigns Finally, another tool frequently used by national governments – such as in France, Italy, Portugal and the UK – is awareness campaigns. This type of action has hugely benefited from the exponential increase in the use of social networks. The capability of conveying a message to hundreds of thousands of people at the same time combined with the possibility of targeting precise audiences have made them a perfect channel for awareness campaigning.


2- An analysis of the understanding of the phenomenon

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The difficulty of collecting comparable data Collecting data and information on acts of discriminatory violence in amateur sport is difficult. One of the main obstacles is the collection of raw data from local matches and sport events. In most cases, largescale statistical data is only available for football. In Germany, the Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund, DFB) runs a nationwide online system for recording referees’ match reports after each game. The statistics show that such incidents are numerous in absolute figures, but rather rare in relation to the high number of games played. No statistical data on violence or discrimination is available for other sports. The same difficulty is found in Portugal where the law requires that incidents recorded during a sporting event be classified in different categories. However, cases of discrimination based on gender, racism, xenophobia, age, etc. all fall within the same typology (which also includes incitement to violence), which makes it impossible to analyse the disaggregated data. In Italy, there is a lack of data and information about violence and racism in sport. There are some studies and reports as well as several observatories, but they are partial and do not allow for data comparisons. In Belgium, there is no central registry of complaints for discriminatory violence in amateur sport. UNIA (Inter-federal Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism and Discrimination) has identified 431 reports for the period 2009–2017 (57 for the year 2017), which refer to both professional and amateur sport. This means that there are no available statistics for discrimination specifically in amateur sport.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

In France, the situation is more or less similar to other European countries in that there is no national observatory on discrimination in sports, let alone local ones. Much of the work in this domain is conducted by the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA). In Greece, the Standing Committee on Violence (DEAV according to the Greek acronym), which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, comprises a team of observers who attend sport events and report incidents in five disciplines (football, basketball, volleyball, handball and polo). In the UK, there is no one central body that deals with data concerning discrimination across all sports. The most extensive collection and analysis of data comes in football and is handled by the association Kick It Out. These findings show that the main obstacles to a proper collection of usable data are first and foremost the lack of a precise and universal qualification of what constitutes a “discriminatory incident”. Added to that, there is no standardised way of collecting data, which hampers their comparison. We have also detected among many amateur sport authorities a certain reluctance to being “under the spotlight”, which makes them more wary of sharing information. Lastly, most of the time the scarce information gathered from the clubs is neither collected nor treated by a centralised body (an observatory of sorts) which could standardise data, close data gaps where possible, but also, and most importantly, produce outputs that could be of benefit not only for national decision-makers but also at the local level and in clubs or associations (such as providing insights for training programmes).

Various degrees of awareness in and about amateur sport The level of awareness is different in each European country because each one has its own particular history, stories and cultural background. Assessing it at the local level also depends on the way the different countries are administered, whether according to a centralist or a federalist/regionalist model.


In Germany, it is difficult to get a clear picture because of the large degree of autonomy of the federal states and the overall culture giving prominence to non-governmental organisations over public institutions. However, it can be said that, given recent social and demographic changes, society in general has become more tolerant and less prone to discrimination and racism, and that this is reflected in amateur sport. In Italy, there seems to be widespread awareness of the issue in professional sport – the mainstream media regularly cover incidents in stadiums – but much less attention is given to amateur sport. In Belgium, sport has become a regional competency; discrimination in amateur sport is therefore the responsibility of the regional federations. UNIA is the only body that centralises all the complaints collected at the national level from practitioners, clubs and/or federations. In France, the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Youth started to address issues of violence and racism in sport in earnest in 2001 with their first ad hoc projects. The 2010 Report on the prevention of incivilities and acts of violence in sport8 is a concrete example of the attention the French government gives to the issue. In Portugal, the government has introduced a bill to amend the 2009 law establishing the legal regime to combat violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sports. In addition to giving new instruments to sport stakeholders to deal with the issue, the proposed law signals that the issue is recognised at the highest level, which in turn contributes to raising awareness among all the operators involved. In the UK, there is considerable awareness of discrimination in sport at the national level. Chapter 6 of the government’s 2015 sports strategy lays out how to engage people from all backgrounds in sport, noting in particular an under-representation of women and girls, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and disabled people.

8- F. Massey, R. Monnereau, (2010), Prévention des actes d'incivilité et de violence dans le sport : recensement des initiatives existantes, préconisations pour une stratégie d'intervention, Inspection générale de la Jeunesse et des Sports


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

As stated above, the level of awareness obviously depends, among other factors, on the general social values of a particular country, region or city, on their social mix, the mainstream public discourses, the overall resilience to the issue in a particular place, and on the impact of national and international events. We have observed considerable differences among the various sport disciplines, but also among the different types of discrimination. It can be said that some types of discrimination are more recognised as such and generate more backlash in society than others. Another important point is that in many instances the clubs, the coaches and the parents tend to attribute abuse or violence to the ‘normal’ competitiveness of sport, or to ‘normal’ childish behaviours, which leads to underreporting and a lack of awareness of what these incidents really are. Lastly, we’ve seen that the closer you get to the ground, the more awareness there is. In other words, the actors on the ground, whether sports coaches, club managers, sports practitioners or parents, are aware of discriminatory incidents when they happen and qualify them as such. This means that there is a lot of scope for campaigning and raising awareness at the granular, local level, which is the one where such campaigns can have the most direct and immediate positive impact.

Priority topics and promising practices The MATCH-SPORT project collected practices for its state-of-the-art study and also created 15 practice sheets, which are available through the project's webpage. Here are a few examples (more are available in the full version of the project's state-of-the-art. In France, local authorities and associations carry out dozens of schemes across the country aimed at fostering social inclusion and fighting discrimination and which Efus has been collecting over the years. One such scheme is the Planet Rugby programme promoted by the municipality of Valence together with a local association, whereby youngsters from deprived neighbourhoods are offered free rugby


sessions on the estates where they live. An interesting aspect is that the promoters take advantage of these sessions to reach out to families. Across Germany there are dozens of programmes and projects addressing discrimination and violence in amateur sport and covering a range of topics, target groups and methodologies. Most of them are conducted or supported by the German Olympic Sports Confederation. The issues they address include discrimination against migrants, right-wing extremism and conflict mediation in football. In Greece, we can mention the Become a Specialist initiative of the project’s partner municipality of Nea Propontida, an annual run in which all residents and visitors are invited to take part to raise funds for the local schools that cater to special needs children. The scheme is promoted by the municipality in cooperation with local associations and businesses. In Italy, there are a number of initiatives to prevent and combat violence and discrimination in sport. Some clubs have started education campaigns aimed at athletes’ families, proposing a set of basic rules of behaviour. Other initiatives worth mentioning target xenophobia and racism. In the city of Liège in Belgium, various amateur sports federations as well as the Fan Coaching programme have set up the Liège Pact for Healthy, Friendly and Respectful Sport9, which brings together a series of different projects and actions managed by different stakeholders. The pact promotes fair play, responsible parenting, and sports' values against polarisation. In Lisbon (Portugal), the “Sport Moves with Me” (Desporto mexe comigo) programme aims to foster the social inclusion of vulnerable children and young people considered at risk, and to promote citizenship values associated with sport. There are also a number of initiatives in Lisbon to promote ‘good behaviour’ among parents, such as the “Torreense School of Parents” (Escola de Pais Parceiros do Torreense).

9-More information: pacte-liegeois-pour-un-sport-sain-amical-et-respectueux


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

In the UK, there are dozens of initiatives in football and other sports to promote social inclusion, anti-racism, gender equality and fair play. Examples include Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD), a youth and social inclusion project in the city of Sheffield; Breaking Boundaries, with similar objectives but in cricket and which is run in cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford; and the national Premier League Kicks project, which uses football and sports inclusion to help young people in some of the UK’s most deprived areas. More than 175,000 young people were or are involved in the 2019–22 Kicks programme, with boys, girls and mixed teams.


Part 2 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Pilot actions and trainings >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

I. Pilot actions tailored to the needs identified by the partner cities

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The state-of-the-art study and the exchanges that followed among the project’s partners highlighted three priority topics on which local and regional authorities wanted to work:

 How to manage violent incidents in amateur sport among players and spectators

 How to raise parents’ and volunteers’ awareness on the issue and train them to adopt the right behaviour during amateur sporting events

 Reducing violence by changing the rules of play of some sports and working with the referees. The partners also agreed that the issue of gender discrimination and discriminatory violence, a central theme of the MATCH-SPORT project, had to be tackled by adopting a crosscutting approach across all the actions envisaged and/or undertaken, rather than through ‘one-shot’, dedicated projects. Built into the project was the idea that partner cities would each design and implement a pilot activity on a theme of their choice with the help of Efus and the project’s experts. This could be, for example, a sporting event, a festival or an exhibition. However, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted these plans, since it was impossible to organise any kind of public event. As the pandemic broke out after the project had started, just when it was entering the phase of elaboration of the pilot schemes, most of the partners (with the exception of Lisbon and Valence) decided that the training sessions originally planned as an addition to the pilot projects would replace the pilots themselves. Because of the pandemic, it was also decided to hold them online.


Training programme to empower local authorities and local sports partners Keeping in mind that training is an essential tool in empowering local authorities and sport partners to understand and respond to incidents of discriminatory violence in amateur sport, the MATCH-SPORT partners developed an online training course comprising three modules corresponding to the three priorities they had previously identified (see above). The prevention of gender discrimination was to be addressed as a transverse issue across all three modules.

Reaching out to all relevant stakeholders The training organisers (whether a local authority or a local sport club) were in charge of selecting potential participants and inviting them to participate. They were encouraged to invite as many local stakeholders as they deemed appropriate with a view to fostering synergies and collaboration that would last well beyond the project’s duration. Indeed, one of the principles of MATCH-SPORT was that tackling violence and discrimination in amateur sport effectively requires the mobilisation of a wide local partnership that can intervene during all phases of a young person’s sporting life, but also more broadly with the public at large as well as the relevant local decision-makers and opinion leaders.

The training’s objectives and methodology The training sessions were structured around 4 objectives:

 Aimed at local partners involved in the field of sport The aim was to reach out to as many local actors as possible, such as schools, sports organisations, local authority sport departments, youth associations and sports associations.

 Sharing common knowledge and providing stakeholders with the tools to work together The sessions were intended to provide a space for all involved stakeholders to share and discuss issues freely.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

 Creating a long-lasting and trustful relationship Another objective was to build a relationship of trust between all the stakeholders involved that would continue beyond the implementation of the project.

 A modular programme adjusted to the specific context of the cities and clubs Cities and amateur sports clubs and associations are each confronted with a specific context and situation on the ground. For this reason, the training consisted of independent sessions corresponding to the cities’ uppermost priorities. The complete training outline is publicly available on Efus’ website and the Erasmus+ Projects Results Platform.

2- Feedback from the project partners

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nea Propontida: finding inspiration in Lisbon’s practice The two training sessions led by the Portuguese Academy of Police Sciences and Internal Security (ISCPSI) and held in October and December 2020 brought together 11 representatives of the Greek municipality of Nea Propontida as well as local and regional sports clubs and associations. The aim was twofold: to share practices developed by other MATCHSPORT partners and to have a general discussion on discriminatory violence in amateur sport and how to curb it. The experts from the Academy of Police Sciences and Internal Security thus presented Portugal’s general approach to promoting tolerance through sport as well as some local Portuguese projects, such as Sport Moves With Me (Desporto Mexe Comigo), which offers free sport activities to youngsters from deprived neighbourhoods of Lisbon in order to combat social exclusion.


The participants also presented their own local activities, notably the Become a Specialist annual charity run organised by the municipality of Nea Propontida to raise funds for local schools catering to special needs children. In the post-training evaluation, the MATCH-SPORT project manager for the municipality said that, “our municipality had never addressed or approached these issues and while we confronted instances of discrimination and violence, we lacked a structured, documented way to handle them. We feel that the two training sessions offered precisely this: the groundwork for building a response to phenomena tarnishing sports events and harming our society. The training sessions also brought together people engaged in sports in different capacities for a productive and constructive dialogue.” The Nea Propontida representatives highlighted that the sharing of experiences and practices with the Portuguese Academy of Police Sciences and Internal Security was particularly inspiring, and that the MATCH-SPORT #weplayfair communication campaign (more information in Part 4) was instrumental in setting the basic principles and objectives of the efforts to promote positive, tolerant and citizenship values through local sport.

Loano and Maranello: creating a spirit of collaboration among local sports clubs The municipalities of Loano and Maranello jointly organised the training, which was delivered over two days by the Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti (Italian Association of Sports for All). It brought together representatives of the majority of local sports clubs of all disciplines (football, sailing, martial arts, basketball, tennis, cycling, fitness, etc.) as well as of the town councils, the local police and civil protection. Loano had included the training as part of two schemes they are currently running on urban security and peaceful coexistence among local residents: ‘Tavolo della Sicurezza’ (the security platform) and ‘Vivere il Parco’ (experience the park). The sessions had three main objectives: to enable participants to share their experience of violence and discrimination in their club, to identify possible causes, and to discuss possible solutions collectively.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

Participants expressed a strong interest in the sessions and decided to organise further meetings in the future to continue exploring the issues of violence and discrimination in amateur sport. Maranello noted that “the best outcome from the training was the spirit of collaboration that was created among the participating sports clubs. They now want to work together even though they operate in a wide range of sport disciplines.” With regard to possible solutions, all participants agreed on the need to train coaches better vis-à-vis their responsibility to tackle discriminatory behaviour, and on ways to do so, maybe with the help of psychologists. “Coaches have duties that go beyond their technical know-how in sport and must acquire new educational skills,” said a participant. Another point on which everybody agreed was that it can be difficult at times to raise awareness and gather support from parents.

Liège and Valence: paving the way for concrete actions in local clubs The municipalities of Liège and Valence jointly organised the training, which was delivered in two online sessions (given the Covid-19 context and resulting travel restrictions). It gathered together sports stakeholders from both municipalities: representatives of local authorities, sports club and association managers, and coaches. The fact that all the participants in the first session also attended the second session a week later is testament to the interest raised by the training programme whose objectives were to raise awareness on the need for tolerant and peaceful amateur sport; to discuss possible changes in the rules of some sports in order to make them more accessible to all; and to exchange experiences and good practices, and encourage participants to implement such practices in their own club. The municipality of Liège intends to support projects that local clubs can implement after the training and will organise campaigns to encourage them to do so. The municipality considers that its participation in the training sessions and more broadly in the MATCH SPORT project falls under its long-held policy of preventing violence in stadiums and in


sport in general, notably enacted through the Fan Coaching programme and the municipal ‘Pact for healthy, friendly and respectful sport’.

Lisbon: training sports educators in dealing with the behaviour of parents The municipality of Lisbon chose to focus its MATCH-SPORT training on giving amateur sports professionals (coaches, club directors and other staff) tools and methods to deal with parents and make them aware of the importance of tolerance and non-discrimination. Under the title “Fair Play for Parents”, the training was delivered (online) by the College for Sport and Management of Potsdam (ESAB Fachhochschule für Sport und Management, Germany) and gathered together 39 participants from 21 clubs of various sporting disciplines. It comprised two sessions organised three weeks apart. The first one, in February 2021, focused on “communicating with parents in the framework of youth sport”. Following a presentation by the German sport pedagogy college, participants worked in small groups on how to encourage parents to educate their children about tolerance and fair play through group meetings, individual conversations, the creation of a specific section on the club’s website or other means. Each sub-group was given ‘homework’: in their respective club/organisation, they had to apply the tools they had discussed and prepare a report for the following session. In this second meeting, the ESAB-Potsdam gave a presentation on “Counter-strategies against violence and discrimination in youth sport” and the whole group discussed ways to encourage parents to behave in a tolerant manner when they accompany their children to sports activities, to educate their children on the value of tolerance, and to be aware of the damage discriminatory behaviours can have on young victims. Following the training, participants unanimously agreed that they had learned useful tools and methods that would help them deal with parents. For its part, the municipality of Lisbon is continuing to work on the issue of parental behaviour in amateur sport, notably through the Desporto Mexe Comigo (Sports Move with Me) programme, which is aimed at young people from deprived neighbourhoods.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

Part 3


Communication campaign



I. Dissemination: an essential aspect of the project

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> One of the five main activities of the MATCH-SPORT project was dissemination, i.e. spreading the word about the need to prevent and combat discrimination in all its forms in amateur sport. Indeed, as we've seen earlier, the project's state-of-the-art has confirmed that there exists a certain lack of awareness at all levels of governance and society on the prevalence of discrimination in amateur sport as opposed to professional sport and particularly football. Right from the design of the project, Efus thus considered it essential to provide local authorities with a professionally designed communication campaign that they and their partners could capitalise on in order to promote tolerance and respect, and debunk discriminatory prejudices and behaviours. In addition, Efus could use its vast network of members and partners to maximise the campaign's impact. As such, dissemination corresponds to the project's three main objectives, which were to:

 Develop or strengthen programmes to counter and prevent violence in amateur sport

 Help local authorities improve knowledge on violence and prevention strategies

 Empower local partners by providing them with suitable and adequate prevention and/or response tools.

How? A collaborative work To prepare the campaign, Efus led several collaborative work sessions with all the partners. Participants were asked to define what values and issues they deemed most important to convey through the campaign. The brainstorming session whereby people arranged in small groups proposed and discussed their ideas, which were then grouped in themes and agreed upon, concluded with four core themes/priorities: 1) to promote the values of sport (such as tolerance and fair play), 2) to


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

tackle all types of stereotypes and violence, 3) to promote the unifying character of sport, and 4) to highlight the central role of parents. Based on this preliminary work, Efus' communication team set out to translate these priorities into communication messages. The first one was the overall baseline of the campaign: it was decided that the message “we play fair” best encapsulated the priorities expressed by the partners. It can be universally understood and its meaning goes beyond sport itself to reflect a general attitude of tolerance, respect and equanimity. Also, crucially, it is a positive message. Through a series of back-and-forth exchanges between Efus' technical team and the project partners, a total of 40 posters were then created in two languages, English and French (i.e. 80 in total). Each poster represents a different sport discipline and sportspeople of different gender, age and ethnicity. The text makes a simple proposal: you do this or that for sport, why not do it outside of sport, too? For example, “You don't miss training, so why miss an opportunity to speak up? In sports, outside sports, #weplayfair.” Each poster thus celebrates a positive sporting attitude and calls on viewers to act upon it and apply it in promoting tolerance and combating discrimination.


Choosing the right channel and timing In addition to the quality and relevance of the creative content itself, the channels through which a campaign is viewed are equally crucial to its success. As such, it was decided to use social media because it reaches a global audience, is particularly popular with younger audiences and has a built-in capacity for demultiplication, since users can re-post to their own networks. Furthermore, social media offers a set of measuring tools the project could use to evaluate the campaign's impact and progress. The choice was made to focus on two leading social media: Facebook and Instagram, the former because it has a huge and diverse audience as the most popular social media in the world, and the latter because of its focus on visual content, which allowed us to strike a balance between being attractive to younger viewers and raising awareness among older ones. Another key aspect of dissemination is: when? In order to highlight the European dimension of the project and build on the European Union's capacity for mobilisation, it was decided to launch the campaign for the European Week of Sport, which is held each year in September. Created in 2015 under the hashtag #BeActive, this initiative seeks to encourage Europeans to adopt a more active and healthy lifestyle. It started with 7,000 events and five million participants in 2015 and has since reached 48,500 events in 2018 and 16 million participants in 2019. The MATCH-SPORT #weplayfair campaign did not stop at the end of the European Week of Sport, and continued throughout the end of 2020 and in early 2021. The results are encouraging: during the European Week of Sport, the campaign reached two million users on Instagram. [NB3]

How can local authorities use the campaign? A practical toolkit Efus created a toolkit enabling the project partners and other Efus members to appropriate the campaign, disseminate it and use it according to their needs and local audience. It consists of the 40 posters, which are available in five languages (English, French, Italian, Portu-


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

guese and Greek) as well as practical advice on how to use the campaign on and offline.

Re-posting the campaign In order to increase the campaign's reach, Efus recommends using tags and hashtags when re-posting it on Facebook and Instagram, such as the European Week of Sport's #beactive as well as European youth initiatives such as @EuropeanYouthEU (Facebook) and @european_ youth_eu (Instagram). It is also recommended adding the hashtags and tags of one’s own local, regional, national and international network, which can be other authorities, sports clubs, youth clubs and associations, anti-racism and other anti-discrimination associations, influencers, the media, etc.

Keeping the campaign alive Information on social media moves fast and becomes out of date after just a few days. It is thus important to keep the campaign alive by posting regularly and renewing the content. In order to help local authorities to do this, Efus has included a series of messages (in English and French) in the kit that they can use to accompany their post. In a social media-friendly way, the messages give the context of the campaign, its objectives and the issues it raises, and they list possible hashtags and tags. Local authorities are encouraged to create their own accompanying messages depending on their specific environment. Also, these do not have to be limited to Facebook and Instagram: Twitter in particular can be used to showcase the campaign, as well as other on and offline media, such as municipal newsletters and magazines.


Using the campaign offline It is also possible, and recommended, to use the campaign offline. Local authorities can print the posters and for example distribute them in local sports clubs, sports shops, local associations, etc., or display them in their town (at bus stops, street billboards, etc.). An additional communication opportunity consists in taking pictures of the billboards in the town/city and posting them on social media.

Capitalising on important events Another interesting communication opportunity is to post for important events, whether international, national or local. This helps to keep the campaign alive throughout the year. Efus has listed more than 20 international events, such as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March), the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (6 April), the International Youth Day (12 August), and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November), to name a few. Local authorities are encouraged to use their own local and regional calendar of relevant events to post new content.

Evaluating the local impact In order to properly assess the impact and reach of the #weplayfair campaign, Efus asks its members to share the statistics provided by social media, such as the number of followers, likes, comments, shares, views, clicking rates, etc. The kit explains how to gather such stats. The same goes for offline dissemination, which can be evaluated by indicators such as how long the campaign was displayed, the audience it has reached, for how long, where and when.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

Part 4





Based on the conclusions of the research conducted during the stateof-the-art phase and the numerous exchanges made during the project, the partners of the MATCH-SPORT consortium have identified the following recommendations that we address to local authorities and sports clubs. These guidelines inform all the actions implemented through the project and have been updated with its findings and developments.

 Competition is inherent to sport. Nevertheless, the idea that competition leads to violence is a stereotype. We need to think about how to reduce violence in sport in a society that considers winning as the sole reward and a way of defining ourselves as individuals or groups.

 It is only through holistic and crosscutting work that we will succeed in fighting violence and discrimination in amateur sport. It is necessary to work simultaneously on several lines, such as education and respect for friends and referees, and adapt the rules to allow for greater inclusion.

 Amateur sport has a positive impact on social cohesion and a lasting effect on the prevention of violence. In this sense, we recommend encouraging the creation of sports clubs or promoting the practice of sports in sensitive urban areas by organising community activities with professional clubs, with the aim of attracting young players.

 In order to avoid violent incidents between spectators and players, we can act and disseminate a culture of responsibility among the general public through communication campaigns. Such actions can be adapted or strengthened to tackle specific issues and respond to local challenges.

 It is essential that local authorities assume their role in coordinating the preventive work carried out at the local level, not only by municipal services but also by sports clubs and associations, among other stakeholders. Indeed, they are particularly well placed to monitor incidents and collect any relevant information that may help to adapt the local policy and consequent actions.


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

 Local and regional authorities should provide financial support to clubs, in particular those located in ‘difficult’ neighbourhoods, and ensure that sports projects include an educational dimension.

 Even at the local level, federations are key players in the prevention of violent incidents. They have the means to set up prevention measures and the power to sanction clubs and their members.

 The role of the referee as an educator must be reinforced. Professional training courses for referees should include this dimension.

 In order to facilitate access to sports for all, the rules can be adapted on an ad hoc basis, for example to enable people with disabilities to take part or to balance gender participation, depending on each club and on the specific needs of their practitioners. The idea here is not to change the rules for all (which would render the sport less enjoyable for the other practitioners), but rather to adapt them on a caseby-case basis.


 We encourage sports associations and clubs to adopt common measures, such as introducing a penalty rule for bad behaviour in the club regulations. It is also important to involve parents in such decisions in order to legitimise them. Having a common ground regarding principles and values is essential in order to be able to differentiate between good and bad behaviours. Communication and reaching out are key.

 Conflicts provoked by parents and families are often caused by their intense emotional involvement in their child’s competition: they project their aspirations, anger or frustration on their offspring. The problem is that it is socially accepted for parents to lose their self-control in these situations and that it is difficult to reprimand them. We therefore have to reach out to parents if we want to change their behaviour, and convince them of the merits of refraining from any kind of abusive behaviour.

 Permanent banning solutions are another tool to be considered when some parents refuse to change their behaviour. However, such measures should be used with caution because they might have adverse consequences for the club.



Part 5


Selected resources and complementary information



MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level

Dive deeper into MATCH-SPORT’s results on our website  Analysing discriminatory violence in amateur sport – State-of-theart in 7 European countries

 Dissemination Kit: #weplayfair communication MATCH-SPORT campaign

 MATCH-SPORT Practice sheets: 15 local actions to prevent discriminatory violence in amateur sport

Efus’ vision on discriminatory violence and sport as a means to strengthen social cohesion  Manifesto: Security, Democracy and Cities – Co-producing Urban Security Policies

 Preventing Discriminatory Violence at the Local Level: Practices and Recommendations

 European Practices for Social Integration through Sport  GOAL: Preventing Violence in Sport

Contextual resources and general information Sport and discrimination in Europe, Council of Europe (2010)  Tackling racism and discrimination in sport: Guide of Promising Practices, Initiatives and Activities, Fundamental Rights Agency (unknown)

 White Paper on Sport, European Commission (2007)


The MATCH-SPORT partnership Efus is the leader of the project in partnership with local authorities and expert organisations: Liège (BE), Lisbon (PT), Loano (IT), Maranello (IT), Nea Propontida (GR), Valence (FR), Europäische Sportakademie Land Brandenburg (“The European Sports Academy Brandenburg”, DE), Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti (“Italian Sport for All Association”, IT), Portuguese Ministry of Internal Administration (PT).

The project lasted from January 2019–June 2021 (30 months).


MATCH-SPORT - Preserving amateur sport’s cohesive capacity by fighting discriminatory violence at the local level The impact of sport goes well beyond stadiums: it is an activity that we consider as embodying our (arguably) universal values of human excellence, tolerance and fair play. But it can also be an arena for the expression of aggressiveness and in some cases violence, racism and other types of discrimination. If European and national authorities have been acting to detect and sanction such behaviours in professional sport for more than two decades, the same cannot be said of amateur sport. Its hyper-local and fragmented nature makes it difficult to implement nationwide or European-wide detection and prevention measures. Efus designed the EU-funded MATCH-SPORT project as a practical tool to support tolerance and non-discrimination in amateur sport via local authorities, the level of governance best suited for this purpose, since it is the level that is closest to citizens. This publication, the conclusion to two-and-a-half years’ work by a group of European local and national authorities, and sports organisations, presents the project’s main outcomes and provides local practitioners and policymakers with recommendations for combating violence and discrimination in and through amateur sport.

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