´Football Unites´ workers are now in Portugal as part of the UEFA-funded FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) programme of activities. They are helping to keep fans entertained, and peacefully interacting with each other, by staging Streetkick tournaments in Euro 2004 host cities.
After a slow start before the Italy - Denmark game in Guimaraes, due to problems with the local authorities, things got serious for the workers before the Germany v Netherlands match. Streetkick was based in the central square Praga de D. Joao, which had been used as the German fan zone for hundreds of their supporters, it was the ideal venue for the inflatable football game attracting interest from fans and the Portuguese locals.
Based directly next to the German fan embassy, a number of teams made up of different nationalities played street football in a relaxed atmosphere. For many supporters it was the perfect opportunity to kill some time during the long wait for the highly charged game between the neighbouring rivals. All the teams respected the common rules of tolerance and respect and FARE´s fanzine was well received. Amongst the Germans, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Croats playing not everybody showed world class footballing skills but due to tropical temperatures this was not surprising.
Workers and volunteers were pleased how well the event had gone and looking forward to the series of Streetkicks, which will take place during the tournament.
- 19th June in the Amadora neighbourhood in Lisbon (starting at 11 am), in co-operation with Associação Unidos de Cabo Verde
- 20th June before Spain - Portugal at the Praga de Figueira in Lisbon (starting at 2 pm)
- 21th June before Croatia - England at the Praga de Figueira in Lisbon (starting at 2 pm)
- 23th June before Germany - Czech Republic at the Praga de Figueira in Lisbon (starting at 2 pm)
For more information about the FARE presence in Portugal, including reports of racism by a small minority of fans of different countries, visit the FARE site at www.farenet.org