MATCH-SPORT - Analysing discriminatory violence in amateur sport - State-of-the-art in 7 countries

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European Forum for Urban Security

MATCH-SPORT - Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination Analysing discriminatory violence in amateur sport State-of-the-art in 7 European countries

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This analysis has been produced in the framework of the MATCH-SPORT project financed by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme. This document has been collaboratively produced by Daniela Conti (UISP), Carlo Balestri (UISP), Sylvester Stahl (FHSMP), Maria Isaura Teixeira (ISCPSI), Sergio Felgueiras (ISCPSI), Carla Napolano (Efus), Martí Navarro Regàs (Efus), Owen Robinson (Efus) and Hemma Jari (Efus) with the precious collaboration of the partner cities in the project: Liège, Lisbon, Loano, Maranello, Nea Propontida and Valence. Thank you to all of them.

European Forum for Urban Security

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MATCH-SPORT - Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination Analysing discriminatory violence in amateur sport State-of-the-art in 7 European countries 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.

MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

Table of contents

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Introduction.................................................................. p. 6

I. An overview of discriminatory violence in Europe....................................................................... p. 8 II. An analysis of the phenomenon through 3 axes............................................................. p. 20

III. Conclusions and recommendations.......................... p. 33 IV. Priority topics and promising practices..............p. 42

V. Complementary resources......................................p. 45



MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Amateur sport can foster social change and inclusivity among children, youngsters and their parents. An amateur club is a good place for instructors and volunteers, notably parents, to carry out educational activities with young practitioners. Parents in particular are often very involved with their children's club. Because amateur sport is accessible to all and clubs have a very 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 prevent crime and to teach values of tolerance, equality, diversity and respect. Thus, when local authorities work side by side with amateur sport clubs or associations, sport really becomes a useful prevention tool that can easily be adapted to the size of the territory, whether in large cities or small towns. Nevertheless, the issues of violence and specifically discriminatory violence hinder the beneficial impact that could be created by these activities and must be tackled. Even if sports federations and clubs are aware of issues in amateur sport and do act against them, they encounter difficulties in addressing the problem in a global and consistent manner with all the relevant actors.


This state-of-the-art is an analysis of discriminatory violence in the 6 European countries that form the partnership of the project (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Portugal). Due to the quality of their actions, we have also included some examples and practices from the UK. This analysis has been 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. The document is divided into three sections, first an overview of the state of the issue at the European level and in the 7 above-mentioned countries. Secondly, an in-depth analysis of the phenomenon through three axes: data collection, local awareness, and promising practices. Lastly, we present the main recommendations on this issue to local authorities and public servants and to sport club directors and staff. The results of this analysis are included in the activities of the project and will form the basis of the MATCH-SPORT European dissemination campaign.


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

The upper framework, fighting discrimination at the European level


Part 1


An overview of discriminatory violence in sport at the European and national levels


Discriminatory violence and more specifically racism and ethnic discrimination have increasingly become a public issue in European sport over the past decades. Even if there are exceptions, the focus seems to be majorly put on addressing incidents caused by racist slurs predominantly in professional sports and generally in football, which due to its popularity is where most of the incidents happen. 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.”1 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 Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)2 conducted in 2010 by 27 EU members shows, the fight against racism is mentioned in most federations’ and clubs’ statutes and regulations, but the vast majority tend to not offer any further disciplinary penalisation (only the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the Union of European Football Associations and the European Cricket Council contemplate such regulations in their statutes). Efus’ concept of discriminatory violence: Any violent incident which 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 penal code.

1- European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), General Policy Recommendation No.12 on Combating racism and racial discrimination in the field of sport (19 December 2008) 2- 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- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

The FRA 2010 report also shows that only 16 Member States (of the 27 interrogated) took action in cases of racism and ethnic discrimination in sport. The report reveals that racist incidents also occur in amateur sports, particularly in football and basketball. In children’s and youth football, such incidents happen among players and among 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, limiting the knowledge on “everyday discrimination”. Until the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the European Union did not have any specific competence regarding sport-related policies. This international agreement builds upon the Pierre de Coubertin action plan (the first EU global initiative on sport) and allows the Union to take action to promote or complement actions taken under Member States’ domestic policies. The first two paragraphs of the Treaty’s article 165 are particularly interesting and define the following steps taken at EU level: they underline the importance of the “educative and social role of sport,” set up the mission to “develop the European dimension of sport” (reinforced with the publication of the European Commission Communication of January 20113) and demand that Member States “promote equity, openness” along with “protecting the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and women.” This important advance will establish a legal basis for the financial and structural support of national sport policies (but does not imply any reform of domestic laws, which remains the sole competence of Member States) that will later evolve into action programmes such as the Erasmus+ funding programme or the annual European Week of Sport. Finally, it has allowed the European Union to further develop their sport policy through two Action Plans (2014-2017 and 20172020). The most recent one further recognises the need to strengthen sport governance tools in order to make them more inclusive. It also stresses the importance of the role of coaches, club directors and referees.

3- European Commission Communication of January 2011 on the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on sport, Developing the European Dimension in Sport.


Finally, we must briefly acknowledge the work carried out by other international organisations besides the EU in promoting sport as an important vector for building more cohesive and resilient societies. For instance, the Doha Declaration of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched an action to empower sport as a tool for peace and crime prevention by teaching life and civic values to young people. As such, the UNODC have developed the Line Up Live Up training programme addressed to all people working in sport settings, which is based on the knowledge gathered by the United Nations on teaching valuable life skills such as “resisting social pressures to engage in delinquency or coping with anxiety and communicating effectively with peers.”4

A diversity of tools used at the national level

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> At the national level, which encompasses not only national federations and clubs’ associations but also national government policies, there is increasing awareness on the issue, which translates into different kinds of action. We have identified 4 broad categories of tools in the fight against discrimination in sport (including but not exclusively amateur sport) at the national level.

Adopting an ethical code For the majority of the countries in our project, the creation of an ethical code is one of the first and most basic actions, which is in line with the recommendation of the Council of Europe. Indeed, the EU’s Committee of Ministers updated in 2010 the Code of Ethics from

4- UNODC, Crime prevention through sports.


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

1992. The RECOMMENDATION NO. R (92) 14 REV5 puts great emphasis on the question of social inclusion through sport and encourages Member States to adopt a Code of Ethics. In particular, Article 4 is dedicated to the principle of anti-discrimination. Consequently, each Member State adopted a specific Chart, drawing inspiration from the European one. Some are particularly comprehensive and innovative and include recommendations on how to apply the principles they put forth. Portugal adopted in 2014 the Code of Sporting Ethics in Portugal (PNED according to the Portuguese acronym)6, which was publicly presented on July 10, 2014. It establishes norms of conduct that should guide the actions of the different sports actors, whether players, coaches, teachers, school, referees, parents, doctors, spectators or the media. In Italy, the Olympic Committee adopted in 2012 a Code of Sport Behaviour aimed at athletes, managers, coaches and referees at all levels (sport federations, sport for all associations and sport clubs). This code includes the principles of non-violence and of non-discrimination7. 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, which underlines that all women and men should promote sociality and inclusion for all without any discrimination and combat all forms of violence.8 France adopted its Code in 2012 and its National Olympic Committee (CNOSF) issued an Charter for Ethics and Deontology (Charte d’éthique et de déontologie)9. It is one of the most comprehensive because it includes specific recommendations for implementation. Principle 2.5 on anti-discrimination states that all actors should consider it their moral duty to refuse any form of violence and discrimination. It should 5- Council of Europe, Recommendation No. R (92) 14 REV of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the revised code of sports ethics. 6- O Manual Plano Nacional de Ética no Desporto (PNED) (José Carlos Novais Lima & Paulo José Carvalho Marcolino, 2012). 7- Olympic Committee, Codice di Comportamento Sportivo. 8- UISP – Unione Italiana Sport per tutti, Codice Etico. 9- Comité national olympique et sportif français, Charte d’éthique et de déontologie du sport français.


be noted that the Charter also includes a chapter on equal opportunities for women and men (Principle 2.6). In Belgium, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation adopted in 2014 a Charter for the Sport Movement - Let’s Live Sport (Charte du Mouvement Sportif - Vivons Sport)10, which clearly underlines that all associations/ federations have a duty to respect and implement its principles. The Charter includes a section on parents’ behaviour: they are encouraged to support their children without publicly criticizing the coach or referees. The UK does not have a code of ethics for sport in general, and different sports associations have their own codes. However, the UK Sports Councils (Sport UK, Sport England, Sportscotland, Sport Wales and Sport Northern Ireland) collectively drew up The Equality Standard: A Framework for Sport, originally published in 2004 and 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. Though its adoption is not mandatory, all recognised sports bodies, whether or not they receive central funding from the sports councils, are encouraged to adopt the Standard, which is subject to the body being assessed.

Establishing new rules and regulations A complementary step to the creation of an ethical code is the adoption of new laws specifically targeting the phenomena of violence and discrimination in sport. The legislative action becomes an important support for the ethical code (if existing). We have identified some examples in the countries covered by the project. In Italy, the debate about laws against violence and racism in sport is always centred on football stadiums and the repression of organised fan groups. Since the first law of 1989,11 the country has adopted a repressive approach even though there are examples of social interven10- Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Charte du mouvement sportif de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles. 11- by Law 401 of December 13, 1989, amended several times to the DL August 22, 2014, n 119


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

tion in stadiums. Over the years, there have been a series of changes that have led to more and more prohibitions and sanctions: the banning of cheering tools (megaphones, drums, banners), cancellation of special railway services for fans attending away matches, fan cards and banning orders (Divieto di Accedere alle manifestazioni sportive, or DASPO, whereby the violator is banned from entering a stadium for a period of time and/or must report to the police prior to attending a sporting event). As the experiences in Germany with the “Fan projects” or in Belgium with the “Fan coaching” have shown, measures of social mediation in stadiums and sports education in schools lead to better and more lasting results than mere legal repression. In Italy, UISP has led the “Progetto Ultrà” for 15 years with the objective of reducing violence and racism in stadiums. The project has had many successes, notably the creation of the Anti-Racist World Cup (Mondiali Antirazzisti), a festival launched in 1997 whereby people from all kinds of background, including immigrants and refugees, meet for five days to pratice different sports as well as leisure activities. Greece has seen an increase in the number and intensity of incidents of violence in sports over the past few decades. It first introduced a piece of legislation on sports in general in 197512, but the problems continued and worsened after the professionalisation of football.13 Since then, successive governments have enacted dozens of laws, the most recent being the Law on “Urgent Measures to Combat Violence in Sport and Other Provisions”.14 However, the most important piece of legislation is Law 2725/1999, which has been amended with various provisions included in other laws and is still in force today. In November 2019, the Greek Parliament voted a new law on sports, which includes emergency measures to combat violence in sport and extends the scope of sanctions against episodes of violence, even if they occur at a place and time unrelated to a particular sporting event, provided they are linked to sport. 12- by Law 75/1975 (Government Gazette 138A/1975) 13- Law 879/1979 (Government Gazette 56A /1979) 14- Law 4326/2015 (Government Gazette 49A/13-5-2015) and Law 4603/19, Government Gazette-48 A/14-3-19


In Portugal, a law enacted in 200915 establishes a legal regime to combat violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport events and ensure they can be held in a manner that is consistent with the ethical principles inherent to sport. In August 2018, the Portuguese Council of Ministers approved a proposal to amend the law and make it more agile and repressive, including higher penalties and sanctions and the ability to close stadiums down if necessary. The UK does not have legislation related specifically to discrimination in sport. Some aspects of the Equality Act 2010 are applicable in the sports context.16 Sports organisations and clubs are subject to the Act in terms of providing equal membership, benefits and services to all its members. Events, trainings and competitions are subject to the prohibition of discrimination. All employees of sports organisations are also protected by the Act. Disciplinary action can be taken against any sports organisation that fails to comply with the Act. The Act also allows and promotes positive action (often known as positive discrimination) to be taken by organisations, where discrimination and under-representation exist. Between the 1960s and 1990s, English football had an international reputation for being violent and a hotbed for hooliganism, which was often racially charged. In 1985, following the Heysel Stadium disaster in Belgium, in which 39 football fans died as a result of hooliganism, English football clubs were banned from European football competitions for five years. Following this, a number of laws were passed to prevent violence in football. These include the Public Order Act 1986, which allowed courts to ban supporters from the grounds, and the Football Offences Act 1991, which made it an offence to throw missiles onto the pitch or to participate in racist chanting. As a result, hooliganism has markedly decreased in professional English football but consequently at the amateur level too, though it is also of note that this is not purely due to the legal restrictions but also to important outreach pro15- Law nº. 39/2009, of July 30 (with amendments introduced by Law nº. 52/2013, of July 25 16- House of Commons Library (2019), Discrimination in sport.


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

grammes such as those carried out by Kick It Out. It is also important to note that most English football clubs remain reluctant to carry out the kind of fan coaching programmes common in Europe. Rather, many clubs have markedly increased the price of their tickets since the 80s, in order to attract a more middle class audience. This has been the subject of particular criticism, making the sport inaccessible to many lower-income supporters, the majority of whom are not involved in hooliganism.17

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. Portugal thus created the National Authority for the Prevention of and Fight Against Violence in Sport18 (ANPCVD according to the Portuguese acronym) in 2018. It ensures the supervision and compliance with the law to combat violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport events. This Authority is a central service directly administered by the State and endowed with administrative autonomy, under the direction of the Government member with competence in the area of sports. In France, the Ministry of Health and Sport and the Ministry of Youth issued in 2010 recommendations for a comprehensive response strategy against violence and racism in sport.19 These included the supervision of minors; awareness and training for sport entity managers; the inclusion of educational projects in the criteria used to award labels to clubs; the inclusion of a section on ethics in the professional training of educators and coaches, and the integration of values and behaviours in the standards of the various sports disciplines.

17- Freeburn, L. & Veuthey, A. (2015). The Fight Against Hooliganism In England: Insights For Other Jurisdictions?, p. 231. 18- Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (2018). Decreto Regulamentar n.º 10/2018. 19- Massey, F. & Monnereau, R. ( 2010). Prévention des actes d'incivilité et de violence dans le sport : recensement des initiatives existantes, préconisations pour une stratégie d'intervention. Public Report.


In Italy, there is no national governmental strategy to prevent violence and racism in sport as this domain is placed under the legislation against violence in sport, which as we have seen is not meant to be an instrument of prevention but rather of repression. This task should be taken by the sport world, but even the Italian Olympic Committee does not have a proper strategy plan apart from the ethical code. Over the past few years, UISP has focused on developing training tools for sport workers, managers, coaches and referees and on raising awareness among athletes and parents against violent or discriminatory behaviours. Moreover, UISP has promoted many projects in schools that teach social inclusion and respect through sport. The UK does not have a specific body or institution to prevent violence and discrimination in sport. Rather, it is largely based on existing legislation and through community or outreach programmes, often carried out through sports bodies or independent organisations. Nonetheless, the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) is a public body funded by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which aims to ensure that all spectators regardless or ethnic origin, gender, etc. are able to attend public sporting events in comfort and safety. It was formerly the Football Licensing Authority, established under the Football Spectators Act 1989, but was extended to include all sports in November 2011.

Promoting awareness-raising campaigns Finally, another tool frequently used by national governments is campaigning to raise awareness about the phenomenon of violence and promote the ethical values of sport, such as cooperation, respect, solidarity and tolerance. There are plenty of examples in Europe. Below, we present some selected from the countries that are represented in the MATCH-SPORT consortium. In Italy, the most significant work in this respect is conducted by the National Office Against Discrimination of the Presidency of the Council of Ministries (UNAR according to the Italian acronym20), which 20- Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

promotes a yearly Action Week Against Racism. This is a traditional spring event aimed at a wide audience thanks to an intense calendar of information, awareness and territorial animation initiatives promoted throughout Italy in schools, universities, the world of sport, the cultural sector, and charities/associations. In Portugal, the government launched in April 2019 a national campaign called “Zero Violence”21 to raise awareness among the general public on violence in sport and to promote the ethical values of sport, such as cooperation, respect, solidarity and tolerance. The key message of the campaign (“There are moments in sport that mark forever... Do not let violence be one of them”) is also promoted on the internet with the #ViolenciaZero hashtag. In addition, the website promotes fair play in sport, also using social media for the dissemination of educational initiatives and resources promoted under the National Sports Ethics Plan (PNED), as well as examples of fair play in Portugal and the world, news and good practices in the field of sports ethics. In France, the Ministry of Sports has launched several campaigns addressed to the general public. The last one, in August 2020, provides several recommendations to prevent any kind of discrimination and reduce the risk of sexual violence. Prepared collaboratively with sport clubs and associations, local authorities, prevention and victim support associations and the territorial services of the ministry, the campaign included a communication and educational kit comprising posters, learning materials, flyers and educational videos, among other interesting resources.22 In the UK, there are a number of national campaigns regarding discrimination and equality in sport. They are generally carried out by the national Sports Councils or individual sports organisations, often in collaboration with national associations. Since 2015, Sport England

21- Diário de Notícias (2019). Governo lança campanha contra a violência no desporto. https:// 22- Ministère chargé des Sports. Campagne de sensibilisation et de prévention des violences dans le sport. campagne-de-sensibilisation-et-de-prevention-des-violences-dans-le-sport


has promoted the “This Girl Can” campaign, funded by the National Lottery.23 It aims to promote female participation in sport and provides various avenues and ideas for women and girls to get involved. The campaign is widely disseminated, such as on national TV channels, and in newspapers. The Premier League carries out the Rainbow Laces campaign in December, in which its players wear Stonewall rainbow laces or armbands to show support for the LGBT+ community, and the campaign period is an opportunity to promote and celebrate LGBT+ inclusion in sport.

What happens at the local level?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The importance of the role that local stakeholders, such as local governments, sports clubs and associations and parent groups, play in promoting sport without discrimination in their territories is undeniable. This is the level that is closest to the ground and thus better understands the specific problems and available resources. For this reason, describing broadly what is developed at the local level would be a colossal task as actions are tailor made to the particular issues identified locally. However, we wanted to explore the level of understanding and institutionalisation of the phenomenon at the local level through two main indicators: the presence (or not) of a regulated procedure to collect data on incidents and the awareness of the issue at the local and club levels. Lastly, we asked the project partners to identify promising local initiatives in their country that seek to remedy their particular concerns on the issue of discriminatory violence in amateur sport.

23- This Girl Can campaign


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

Part 2


An analysis of the understanding of the phenomenon


Below is an in-depth analysis of these two aspects (capacity of collecting structured data and the level of local awareness on the issue) as seen in seven countries: Belgium, France, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom. As the results of this analysis showed, national and local actions are closely related and, most of the time, impossible to be taken into account separately. Considering this, even though the focus of the next two parts is on the local level, you will find plenty of regional and national references because these are the frameworks in which the local stakeholders must act.

Capacity of collecting structured data on discriminatory incidents in amateur sport

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> General information sources from European institutions give us an overview of issues of discrimination in amateur sport. For example, the Special Barometer on Sport and Physical Activity24 categorises its datasets (frequency of sporting activities, for instance) by sex, age or occupation. This can show some general differences between countries (for instance, the number of athletes who are registered in a federation in Portugal is unequally distributed with 75% males and only 25% females). This data is interesting but not thorough enough to really be helpful for local policy-making, which is why it is very important that local authorities collect data and evidence in their territory (from local clubs, the local police, etc.). However, collecting data and information on acts of discriminatory violence in amateur sport is difficult. Most of the countries we have examined for this study struggle to do so for different reasons.

24- Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (2018). Special Eurobarometer 472 on Sport and Physical Activity.



MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

One of the main obstacles is the collection of raw data from local matches and sport events. In most cases, large scale statistical data on discrimination and violence in amateur sport is only available for football, which remains the overwhelmingly dominant sport in Europe. In Germany for example, the Football Association (Deutscher FußballBund, DFB) runs a nationwide online system for recording the referees’ match reports after each game. Besides capturing basic information on any given match (result, penalties, etc.) the web interface also allows referees to report cases of violence or discrimination by checking boxes. Instructions for using these check boxes and short definitions of the terms in question are provided by the DFB through a leaflet, a video clip and a ‘mouse-over’ text box. The DFB specifies that the term ‘discrimination’ refers to verbal abuse about race, language, religion, descent, age, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity as well as other symbolic acts such a throwing bananas on the pitch, making ‘monkey noises’ or performing a ‘Nazi salute’ (DFB, n.d.). Although the website doesn’t allow for differentiation between these different forms of discrimination through any standardised method, referees can do so manually. The statistics gained from this data source indicate that such incidents are seemingly numerous in absolute figures, but rather rare in relation to the high number of games played: In the 2017/2018 season 4,087 cases of violence and 2,768 incidents of discrimination were registered, which represent respectively 0.31% and 0.21% of the 1,318,741 matches recorded. Six hundred and sixty-seven games (0.05%) were abandoned due to the violent or discriminatory behaviour of players, coaches, club officials or spectators, and 99.51% were played without any incident (DFB 2018). The DFB publishes these figures on their website without any accompanying analysis or additional information about data quality or the statistical methods applied, which limits somewhat their reliability. However, field experts commonly acknowledge that the data is skewed one way or another. Indeed, when a referee signals an incident of violence or discrimination through the online system, he must also fill out the mandatory text fields we have mentioned above. This might well lead to some under-reporting by the (volunteer) referees who might not want to spend the time necessary to fill out the form. Fur-


thermore, the referees themselves can feel discriminated against when they have been mistreated during a game. They might then click the check box even though their case doesn’t correspond to those described in the website’s instructions. This type of situation leads to over-reporting. More statistical data on discrimination and violence in amateur football are collected by the regional football federations based on the proceedings of their courts of arbitration. These data sets are usually meant for internal use only and statistical results derived from them are typically not published. However, they have been used for scientific research in several cases (Stahl 2009, Pilz). No statistical data on violence or discrimination are available for other sports. Instead, some sport federations and associations collect qualitative information from media coverage, internal reports or internet sources in order to monitor the situation and possibly take action. The same kind of difficulty is found in Portugal where the law25 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 light of the significant number of events and news reports sent to the Portuguese Institute of Youth and Sport about incidents at sports events, the authorities decided to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and speed of reporting and to promote preventative and other measures to improve safety and security at sports events. In Italy, there is a lack of data and information about the situation of 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. A National Observatory on Sport Events26 was established in 1999 following a series of serious incidents around

25- Law 39/2009 of July 30, establishes the legal framework to combat violence, racism, xenophobia, and intolerance in sporting events, in order to make it possible to hold these events safely. More information here: 26- Osservatorio Nazionale Sulle Manifestazioni Sportive


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

football matches and the enactment of new pieces of legislation throughout the 1990s. However, it is exclusively focused on football and violence in stadiums (even though its title suggests otherwise). The Italian Association of Footballers (Associazione Italiana Calciatori, AIC) publishes each year a report on the violence or racism suffered by footballers, whether professional or amateur, titled Calciatori sotto tiro (“footballers under attack”)27, so again a partial perspective. The National Office Against Racial Discrimination (Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali, UNAR)28 also has an observatory that collects reports, denunciations and testimonies regarding acts of discrimination, and provides information, referrals and assistance, but it does not specifically focus on sport. However, UNAR and UISP have decided to establish an observatory on discrimination in sport and preparatory work begun in 2020 with a pilot action. The observatory will collect information and complaints about discriminatory acts in all sports, and will promote training courses for sport institutions/organisations. After a first experimental phase, the project will create a broad network of stakeholders, who will work on drawing up a national prevention strategy. In Belgium, there is no central registry of complaints for discriminatory violence in amateur sport. UNIA29 (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. Nevertheless, the media regularly report incidents of discrimination in both amateur and professional sports. The professional football league and the Royal Belgian Football Association have both taken measures to counter discrimination, such as racism and homophobia.

27- Osservatorio “Calciatori sotto tiro” 28- Ufficio Nazionale Antidiscriminazioni Razziali, UNAR. 29-


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 (Ligue internationale contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme, LICRA, one of the oldest associations in France combatting racism and anti-semitism), which has an observatory on racism that includes a section on football30. The partnership is broad, which allows for building up a comprehensive database with data classified according to sporting disciplines. In Greece, the main public body in charge of tackling violence in sport is the Standing Committee on Violence (DEAV according to the Greek acronym), which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.31 32 It works with the police, the Justice system, other public bodies, sports federations and associations to gather information and detect violent incidents. DEAV comprises a team of observers who attend sport events and report incidents to DEAV, which then sends them to the Ministry of Sports as well as to the sports federations. The observers are thus the “eyes and ears” in the five disciplines they are responsible for, i.e. football, basketball, volleyball, handball and polo. Furthermore, the data collected by the DEAV are also analysed by the Department of Statistical Documentation of the Ministry of Education and Sport, notably regarding incidents in professional football matches.33 Another public body is the Centre for Combating Discrimination, which is part of the National Centre for Social Research (EKKE according to the Greek acronym). It issues nationwide and local surveys and studies, lobbies and networks among executive bodies, and offers support services for discriminated groups. It also disseminates good anti-discrimination practices and organises scientific events to support anti-discrimination.

30- Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme. 31- established by section 41A of Law 2725/1999 (Official Gazette 121A/1999) 32- 33-


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

In the UK, there is no one central body that deals with data concerning discrimination across all sports. Rather, bodies and methods are different for each sport. The most extensive collection and analysis of data comes in football, the most popular sport in the country. It is handled by the association Kick It Out, which though independent, is supported and funded by the Football Association and the Premier League. Among other work, the association collects data on discrimination in sport, from professional to grassroots football and online. A report is produced every year.34 The statistics are broken down into several classifications, such as by type of discrimination, and whether professional or grassroots. Racism accounts for 65% of all reports. At the grassroots level, there were 105 reports of discrimination during the 2018/19 season, though it is widely accepted that underreporting is an issue, particularly at this level.

No clear picture of discrimination and racism in amateur sport This overview of the situation in the different countries represented in the MATCH-SPORT project highlights the lack of a national platform that would compile data provided by different sources at the local level. It is difficult to assess the real situation of discriminatory violence in amateur sport across Europe as there is currently no common crossdata platform specifically dedicated to this issue, which could be used by the relevant stakeholders (clubs, federations, law enforcement…). Setting up a data-sharing platform would help overcome issues such as accessing different data sets that are usually meant for internal use only and statistical results which typically are not published (such as those from the courts).

Different levels of awareness depending on the discipline It is also to be noted that the level of interest and concern on the issue of discrimination varies depending on the sporting discipline. Football federations, for instance, are a lot more aware of the issue than other

34- The Kick it out organisations Reporting Statistics.


sports and thus prioritise data collection. This means in practice that most of the data held by countries on discriminatory incidents are probably skewed towards the dataset collected by football organisms. An example of this is found in Germany where no statistical data on violence or discrimination are available for other sports. Instead, some sport federations and associations collect qualitative information in the media, in internal reports and on the Internet in order to monitor the situation and possibly take action. Another caveat is that most of the data concerns only one type of discriminatory violence, namely racism, which means that other types of discrimination are probably under-reported.

Local awareness level on discriminatory violence issues in amateur sport

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Discriminatory violence in sport reflects the level of racism that exists in society: the more discrimination there is in a country, the more it will be present in the sport field. In particular, football could be considered as a perfect mirror of society, in some cases it announces what will happen in the near future. The level of awareness is different in each European country because each has their own particular history, stories and cultural background. Some countries came in contact with foreigners at an early stage in comparison with others (as a result of colonialism or the strong development of industrialism and the urban labour market), but this doesn’t guarantee that the population, having been accustomed to living among “different” people, will have an open mind. Being aware of the phenomenon is key to being motivated to act against it. Considering racism, homophobia or any other kind of discrimination


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

as an isolated incident, “child’s play” or “part of the game” is just a way of downplaying its importance and thus avoiding doing something to prevent it. In Germany, a large country with a federal system and huge regional disparities, it is quite difficult to make any generalisation about the level of awareness on discrimination and violence in amateur sport among in municipal and local sport professionals. Instead, it seems reasonable to assume that the degree of awareness varies among the 11,000 or so cities, just as it certainly differs between and within communities, depending on a series of factors such as the structure of the population, the socio-economic context, the characteristics of the sport scene, and local interethnic relations. Still, some general remarks can be made: in line with Germany’s overall corporatist system, non-governmental organisations such as clubs, associations and federations play a crucial role in the sport sector. Here, like in other spheres of society, the state relies heavily on private institutions to fulfill public duties with the help of state subsidies. Many local sport administrations more or less limit themselves to the management of the public sport infrastructure, leaving the implementation of sporting policies and the use of sport for external purposes (like combating discrimination) to clubs and other sport organisations. Furthermore, most public administrations lack funds and resources to be able to handle initiatives that go beyond their key obligations. As far as sport clubs and their personnel are concerned, there is a marked difference between football and all the other sports. Indeed, football is arguably the only sport where violence is widely recognised as an issue, while in other amateur sports, except for singular cases, it simply is not. In football a certain level of awareness (if not over-awareness!) can be taken for granted among amateur players, coaches, club board members, other volunteers and professionals. In other sports, one can safely assume that violence is not an issue. The level of awareness of discrimination in amateur sport on the other hand is most likely higher and more widespread. For instance, awareness of discrimination has significantly increased among the general public over the past few years because of socio-demographic and socio-political developments that have rendered German society more


diverse and liberal (changing demographics, immigration, equal rights for homosexuals, women’s emancipation, etc.). Among club members and officials, awareness of discrimination probably depends to some extent on the size of the club and its location: While small clubs (with less than 100 members) strongly tend towards social homogeneity, mid-scale and large sport clubs, particularly in urban environments, typically have to deal with social diversity on a daily basis and have (at least implicitly) anti-discrimination policies in place. In Italian cities, the general attitude is to downplay the issue, sometimes labelled as just a silly reaction of overly passionate parents or by considering that “it’s OK to say something stupid [i.e. racist] in the heat of competition.” It seems that in general, there is more awareness in sports clubs and the will to do something (in terms of mediation), even though clubs don’t always have the appropriate tools to prevent or combat racism. As for institutions such as local authorities and federations, they are more inclined towards sanctioning highly violent/discriminatory attitudes with fines or bans rather than preventing them. The fact that there is no observatory that could monitor incidents in grassroots sport also contributes to a general lack of awareness on this issue. It is only when the media report an incident that there is a general sense of alarm, but this is generally short-lived and doesn’t lead to any concrete actions. 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 to amateur sport. Concerning youth amateur sport and based on informal conversations with UISP’s coaches and trainers, it is clear that clubs take the violent and sometimes racist attitudes of parents very seriously. This happens mostly when children are playing in a match or in a competition, whether this be football or another sport, such as gymnastics: parents verbally abuse the referees/judges, or other players, or their own trainer/coach to dispute their decisions, or other parents (especially those whose children play in the opposite team). Sometimes, verbal aggression becomes physical.


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

In general, it seems that in grassroots sports, only those clubs that are concerned and responsible, notably those who work with a diverse public, are aware of these issues and try to find solutions, for example through awareness campaigns or by talking with their players/athletes about sports values such as respect and fair play. In Belgium, sport has become a regional competency and therefore discrimination in amateur sport is the responsibility of the regional federations. UNIA is the only body that centralizes 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 in earnest to address issues of violence and racism in sport in 2001, when they launched their first projects aimed at reducing this problem. The 2010 Report on the prevention of incivilities and acts of violence in sport35 is a concrete example of the attention the French government gives to the issue. The report is comprehensive and identifies sport as an important aspect of society, highlighting that it “cannot be isolated from the ideal on which it was built, nor ignore that it is a universal factor of collective identity and sociability.” 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. The bill imposes stronger obligations on sports agents and contemplates social and educational preventive actions. It increases the minimum fines, shortens procedural time limits, enforces some penalties and ancillary sanctions, and limits access to certain areas of certain sporting events (notably through mandatory electronic ticketing), among many other measures. Apart from 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 involved actors.

35- Massey, F. & Monnereau, R. ( 2010). Prévention des actes d'incivilité et de violence dans le sport : recensement des initiatives existantes, préconisations pour une stratégie d'intervention. Public Report.


In the UK, there is a 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, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and disabled people.36 The strategy also makes clear its intention to focus on not just the most popular sports, such as football, but on all forms of physical activity. It stops short however in detailing the issue of discrimination within sport itself, and much of this work seems to be left to individual sports organisations, such as Sport England or the Football Association. National campaigns, such as those mentioned above, show an awareness of the need to combat discrimination in sport. At the more local level, awareness of discrimination varies across different cities, counties, and among different sports. Cities like London, which are very multicultural in comparison to other places in the country, present a wider awareness of the problem of discrimination in sport. In May 2018, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published his sports strategy for the city (“Sport for all of us: the Mayor’s strategy for sport and physical activity”), which admits that discrimination “can act as a key barrier in participation,” and lays out a set of strategies and programmes to promote equality in sport at the grassroots level. It is harder to find examples of public awareness at the local level similar to that of London. Due to the competencies of cities and regional bodies, tackling discrimination at a local level is often left to individual organisations and clubs. Associations are key in raising awareness. At the amateur level, for example, Kick It Out’s Academy Education Programme carries out workshops and presentations on discrimination in sport at local grassroots football clubs, as well as schools and organisations, across the country. Show Racism the Red Card, an anti-racism charity, involves high-profile sports people in national campaigns and educational workshops for young people, where their influence can be used for the positive. Individual clubs, at the professional and grassroots level, also carry out a variety of local awareness and inclusion campaigns, often

36- HM Government (2015). Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation.


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

supported by national associations. Again, these responses vary considerably in terms of the city and the sport, where initiatives in football are much more common, and in terms of whether they are focused on amateur or professional sport.

Disparity in levels of awareness by sport discipline and by proximity of the issues The conclusion of the analysis on this subject is that at the national level there is a common awareness of the issues related to violence in amateur sport. However, awareness campaigns stemming from the national levels (whether from government or federations) are mostly focused on the most practised sport which in Europe is overwhelmingly football. At the local level, there are significant disparities between cities. Those that have already worked on anti-discrimination policies tend to be better prepared to include the sport sector in these efforts. At the club level, the differences are even more important and will depend on where the club, its members and its staff are located. Those located in diverse neighbourhoods are more aware of the discrimination issues that may exist and tend to do a more proactive job of countering it.

Part 3 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Priority topics and promising practices >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

Even though they can struggle with a lack of structured data collection and of resources to raise awareness on the issue, numerous European cities are developing preventive actions and strategies. This part features several promising practices we have collected across Europe, which show the main topics that cities are working on in their efforts to prevent violent discrimination in amateur sport. MATCH-SPORT has also collected 15 additional practice sheets from the cities directly involved in the project. The documentation will be made available on the project webpage.37

Promising practices in Portugal

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In Lisbon, there are good examples of the importance of cooperation among different stakeholders to increase public awareness of the problem. One example is an event organised by the Higher Institute of Police Sciences and Internal Security (ISCPSI) and the Lisbon City Council (CML), both partners in the MATCH-SPORT project. The event started with a joint meeting between the municipal Department of Physical Activity and Sport, the team of the “Sport Moves with Me” programme and of its 32 partner entities (club and association directors, teachers and technicians that intervene in 21 neighbourhoods of Lisbon). The objective of the meeting was to discuss the current state of play regarding violence and discrimination in amateur sport and future opportunities for joined activities and projects. It was also a good opportunity to evaluate the participants’ perception of the issue. The “Sport Moves with Me” (Desporto mexe comigo38) programme aims to foster the social inclusion of vulnerable children and young people considered at risk, and to promote citizenship values associated with sport. The programme guarantees free access to regular sports through a vast network of partner entities and is aimed at children and youngsters aged between 2 and 22, with a priority for those living in deprived neighbourhoods registered as Priority Intervention Zones by the City of Lisbon.

37- More information on 38- More information on


Another interesting initiative is “Sports without bullying” (Desporto sem bullying39), which is led by the Faculty of Human Kinetics of the University of Lisbon and seeks to raise awareness on the different forms of exclusion existing in sport and to promote it as an activity that fosters inclusion and development. A video campaign was to be launched in 2020. This campaign will include the participation of star sports men and women who share their experience of racism, homophobia, gender discrimination, and discrimination against disabled people and those with mental health issues. 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 Torreense40). Coordinated by the Department of Football of the Sport Clube União Torreense, this innovative project started in February 2019. It aims to improve the behaviour of parents when their children take part in sport competitions and to educate them on the values of sport. Another project on the issue of parents’ behaviour is the one led by the City of Almeirim in May 2018. Titled “Sportspeople’s Parents are Responsible Parents” (Pais de desportistas são pais responsáveis41), the project was based on a partnership with clubs, associations and federations of various sport disciplines and aimed to encourage young athletes’ relatives to behave in a civilized and sane manner during competitions. The campaign produced an information booklet outlining the 10 rules that parents must follow when they attend their children's sporting events. In addition, information was given to the referees' associations and federations on parental behaviours to watch out for because they fuel acts of violence. On the same topic, the campaign “Respect your Child” (Respeite o seu filho42) was developed by the City of S. João da Madeira, which is among 88 Portuguese cities that are classified as “friends of sports” for their good practices in this field. Launched in the 2018/2019 sports season, it targeted the public attending local sports events involving children and young people. The campaign raised awareness through various communication tools, training actions and sports activities focused on the promotion of ethics in sport. For example, it included the distribution of a ‘medicine box’ that contained messages and images inviting people to watch/experience sport in a 39- More information on 40- More information on 41- More information on 42- More information on


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

calm and positive way, and to reject inappropriate behaviour with messages such as “Don’t be a counter coach” and “Do not reproach. Support”.

which may involve public service units, police departments, ethnic organisations or social work institutions.

Regarding the promotion of ethical values in sport, the Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth launched in November 2017 the “Ethics’ Flag” (Bandeira da ética43) labelling campaign. The Ethics Flag is a label that certifies that an organisation respects a strict set of ethical values. It is addressed to all entities that wish to have their work in promoting ethical values through sports recognized. The initiative is based on a technological platform with two main functionalities: 1) the submission of applications for certification, which refers to the accreditation process itself, and 2) a repository of good practices of ethics and values in sport, which is available for consultation by the Ethics Flag community.

Among the most relevant programmes are:

Promising practices in Germany

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Across Germany there are dozens of programmes and projects addressing discrimination and violence in amateur sport. Differing a lot in terms of thematic focus, target group and methodology, they frequently pursue broader approaches than the strict prevention of violence and discrimination, e.g. reducing conflict in general, combating right-wing extremism or promoting the inclusion of migrants. Most of these programmes are conducted or at least supported by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund, DOSB) as the nation-wide umbrella organisation of sport associations and federations or by the regional sport confederations (Landessportbund, LSB), which play a crucial role in Germany’s federal system. Although there are also centralised campaigns, many of these programmes basically provide a political, organisational and financial framework through which local actions are implemented – often by sport clubs, sometimes by networks,

43- More information on


 Integration durch Sport (Integration through sport): Coordinated by DOSB, this nationwide programme started in 1989 promotes the participation of migrants in sport. It now involves 750 clubs. The project offers sporting opportunities, educational activities and support to migrants. It is subsidized through a federal government grant of €10 million per year.

 Zusammenhalt durch Teilhabe (Solidarity through participation): This federal government programme promotes democracy against (right-wing) extremism with a focus on rural areas. It supports sports, among other sectors, and is particularly active in the eastern parts of Germany.

 Interkulturelle Konfliktmediation im Fußball (Intercultural conflict mediation in football): This is a regional programme in Hessen, which is specialised in conflict mediation. As such, it provides mediation between conflicting football teams, and training on how to avoid conflicts for players, coaches and parents, with a particular focus on inter-ethnic conflict dynamics. Some of the approaches and methods applied in these programmes could certainly be transferred to other countries, maybe downsized to the settings in smaller countries where appropriate.

Promising practices in Italy

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 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. UISP Bologna also runs a more structured programme called Oltre le regole facciamoli giocare lasciamoli sbagliare (“Beyond the rules let them play and let them make mistakes”), which works with parents, children and coaches. In particular, the programme has referees meet parents before the games to


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

encourage them to help their children have fun and refrain from misbehaviour. Another project started in Bologna is Torneo Dimondi (“Tournament of the world”), which was created by grassroots sports clubs with the aim of reaching out to youngsters and adults who usually do not join a club because of their social background, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, etc. The project aims to send an anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-sexist and anti-discrimination message through sport. In order to reduce tensions linked to competitiveness, the games, which are held monthly, are self-refereed, and the teams can earn points based on their respect for the rules and for their opponents. A similar initiative, Mondiali Antirazzisti (“The anti-racist World Cup”), organises football, volleyball, basketball and rugby tournaments of teams of mixed genders and ages, made up of refugees, immigrant communities, anti-racist and youth organisations from across Europe and representing more than 70 nationalities. The matches are, as with Torneo Dimondi, self-refereed, and the finals are only based on penalties to emphasise the non-competitive spirit of the tournament. The programme has the following key objectives:

 Establish a dialogue between different cultures and with local authorities, sport and youth organisations from across Europe with the aim of creating future projects/collaborations at a national or European level;

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 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 Sport, through a series of different projects and actions managed by different stakeholders. These include:

 An information campaign with the slogan ‘Fair Play is a sport’ to be printed on banners for local clubs

 Appointing a designated person in charge of fairplay in every club Encouraging the participation of local clubs in the annual Fair Play Prize  Honouring local people who have demonstrated the values of Fair Play in the annual ‘Night of sports’

An urban exhibition based around the theme of fair play  Since 2019, the Pact has been coordinating a ‘citizen sport’ project against polarisation in amateur sport

 The ‘Cool Parents’ programme raises parents’ awareness of their own behaviour through videos. The Pact’s working group regularly meets to evaluate the results of the programme, share experiences, and thus improve the programme.

 Open people’s minds and building a platform for debate and the exchange of experiences;

 Combat discrimination and violence in sport and in society in general;  Raise awareness among the public about discrimination in sport and create an information and anti-discrimination campaign.

Promising practices in Belgium

Promising practices in the United Kingdom

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In the UK there are several programmes promoting inclusion and diversity in sport and by extension in the community. For example Football Unites, Racism Divides (FURD) is a youth and social inclusion project in the city of Sheffield that works within the local community, as well as nationally and



MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

internationally, to combat racism, promote inclusion in football and society and increase understanding within and between communities. Projects include coaching sessions in the local community that are free or as cheap as possible, in order to remove one of the barriers facing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) youth involvement in sport, and tournaments for teams of refugees and asylum seekers. They also offer free weekly football sessions for women and girls, aiming to make football more inclusive. FURD also carries out the Streetkick initiative, which consists of a mobile inflatable mini football pitch that can be moved around different areas of the city and country to promote youth involvement and anti-racism in sport. It is accompanied by volunteers who share information about events and involvement in sport and anti-racism. It often targets areas which have high numbers of BME young people, or areas where there are known racial tensions. The Streetkick initiative was even brought by FURD to the Euros in 2004 (Portugal), 2008 (Austria/Switzerland) and 2012 (Poland/Ukraine) as well as the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where it proved a success amongst football fans. The Breaking Boundaries project has similar objectives but instead uses engagement in cricket, be it playing, volunteering or spectating. The project runs in specific neighbourhoods in several cities, including Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford, and has a particular emphasis on bringing together different ethnic and faith groups into one community, and promoting social cohesion and mutual respect and friendships. It engages all ages, genders, and ethnicities and ensures that young disabled people can participate in the sport as equals. It also runs a number of creative workshops, and presentations by inspirational speakers and volunteering communities.

Over 175,000 young people are expected to be involved in the 2019-22 programme, with boys, girls and mixed teams. The highlight of the campaign is the annual Premier League Kicks Cup, which brings together all the teams involved in the campaign for a football competition. There is a particular emphasis on fair play, with fair play awards for teams and individuals, and interaction between different teams. The stated aims of the project include promoting integration and championing equality, diversity and inclusion, enhancing physical and mental wellbeing, including self-esteem, ambition and social skills, and strengthening communities with a culture of volunteering, social action and positive role models, supporting education, training and employment pathways. This last aim has had much success, with the scheme having helped thousands of young people find routes into education, training and employment, and 20% of the programme’s current volunteers being former participants. The next three years of the programme will also see more targeted provision for young people requiring extra support. Working in partnership with the charity Children In Need, up to 48 professional football clubs will provide mentorship and guidance to children and young people at risk of or affected by violence.

Another interesting initiative is 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. Ninety professional football clubs across the country work with their respective local communities to engage young people in constructive activities, such as amateur football/sports, coaching and personal development sessions, in order to improve sports participation, promote inclusion and cohesion, and reduce anti-social behaviour at the local level, with activities and mentoring that are tailored to the specific needs and dynamics of each local community.



MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

Based on the conclusions of this analysis, the partners of the MATCHSPORT consortium have identified the following recommendations which 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.

 Amateur sport has a positive impact on social cohesion and a lasting

Part 4


Conclusions and recommendations


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.

 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.

 Competition is inherent to sport. Nevertheless, the idea that it 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 cross-cutting work that we will succeed in fighting violence in amateur sport. It is necessary to work on several lines in parallel, such as education and respect for friends and referees, adapting the rules to allow greater inclusion.

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

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

 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.

 One tool to be taken into account is the adaptation of rules to facilitate the participation of all. Making some sports less difficult in order to make them more accessible is not necessarily a good solution



MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

because it would render the games less enjoyable for most players. Rather, it is better to adapt the rules according to the individual capacities of players on a case by case basis.

 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 certain parents refuse to change their behaviour. However, such measures should be used with caution because it might have adverse consequences for the club.

 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 behaviours and bad ones. Communication and reaching out are key.


Part 5 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Complementary resources >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


MATCH-SPORT- Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination

 Commission of the European Communities (2007). White Paper on Sport, available at: TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52007DC0391&from=EN

 Council of Europe (2008). ECRI General Policy Recommendation No. 12 on combating racism and racial discrimination in the field of sport,availableat:

 EOC EU Office (2011). Guide to EU SPORT POLICY, available at: policy_final_versionwithlinks.pdf

 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2010). Racism, ethnic discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport: A comparative overview of the situation in the European Union, available at: uploads/1207-Report-racism-sport_EN.pdf

 European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Tackling racism and discrimination in sport Guide of Promising Practices, Initiatives and Activities, available at: files/guide-tackling-racism-in-sport_en.pdf

 Gasperini, W. & Talleu, C. (2010). Sport and discrimination in Europe. Council of Europe, Epas Publication, available at: 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 - Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination Analysing discriminatory violence in amateur sport - State-of-the-art in 7 European countries Violence in sport does not only affect professional sport and large events that receive a lot of media coverage: it is also manifest in amateur sport. In this field, incidents are often linked to provocations inciting hatred and discriminatory violence. These can be caused by players and athletes but also club managers, volunteers and parents. Some sports are more affected than others by incidents of violence, mostly of a discriminatory nature, but in any case, this issue requires appropriate interventions. How to address the issue of violence, racism, discrimination and intolerance in sport and more particularly in amateur sport? Through the MATCH-SPORT project, local authorities and sport organisations work together on reducing violence, discriminations, racism and intolerance in sport through the exchange of expertise and practices. 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).