This year marks the fifth European-wide week of action against racism in football from 13th-25th October, which has now become a fixture on the football calendar. Professional clubs, local teams, schools, community groups and fans are all making a stand against racism in this period, and all 92 professional clubs in England and Wales will hold an anti-racist match day. The week celebrates the contribution made to football by black, Asian and other ethnic minorities, whilst continuing the call to challenge racism.
Football Unites is involved in several activities during the Action Week period:
25 October: Football Unites, Racism Divides will hold an anti-racist 5-a-side football tournament at Sheffield United FC´s training academy. The tournament will include high proportions of players from ethnic minority groups and asylum seekers and refugees.
26 October: Chantwriters, the anti-racist community writing group supported by Football Unites, will hold a special "History of Black Footballers" event at FOB, Church Street, Sheffield, at 7.30pm, to showcase its work. Special guests will be Phil Vasili reading from his books "Arthur Wharton: The First Black Footballer" and "Colouring Over the White Lines", and Gary Kaye, poet in residence at Leeds United. The event is part of Black History Month, Anti-Racist Action Week, and the Off the Shelf festival of writing and reading.
Oct 29th: Sheffield United has designated its home game against Cardiff an Anti-Racism day (it’s been moved to outside the official Action Week period to avoid a clash with Breast Cancer Awareness activities at the Wolves game on 15th Oct). Activity at the match will include giving out anti-racist materials, using banners, the referees and players wearing Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football t-shirts, anti-racist messages on the electronic scoreboard, whilst the matchday programme will feature articles dedicated to the fight against racism. During the half time interval, Football Unites´ coaches will provide a training demonstration with some young people they have been coaching from Sheffield´s diverse communities.
Nov 11th: Football Unites will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a formal dinner event at Sheffield United FC. Pioneering football stars, both past and present, will be on hand to reflect on the project´s decade of achievement, and our publication ‘Football Unites, Racism Divides: the First Ten Years’ will be launched.
Details of other Action Week events in England and Wales can be found at www.kickitout.org, and events across Europe are detailed on www.farenet.org