Early international initiatives

FURD was originally funded by the EU European Cities Anti-Racism programme, beginning in 1996, together with the Dortmund Fan-Initaitive, Progetta Ultra in Bologna, Italy, and the London-based Arc Theatre Company. The first meeting of these early projects took place in September 1996 in Bologna.


In early 1999, at a gathering in Vienna, Austria, Football Unites met with a handful of other like-minded groups and campaigns across Europe to form the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.  The network has since grown to include hundreds of member groups affiliated to it – from grassroots fan groups and NGOs to political campaigns, throughout the length and breadth of the continent and beyond.

In February 2002, Football Unites, Racism Divides hosted an international conference, “Building the Network”, at Sheffield United FC’s Bramall Lane ground. Over 80 delegates attended, representing 46 different organisations from across Europe.  The event was designed to share good practice of practical action.  Most of the individuals present were from grassroots organisations, and the conference was a key stepping stone in the development of the Football Against Racism in Europe network.