UEFA launched their RESPECT campaign today, aimed at players, fans and viewers to remind them of equality—that everyone is equal no matter on the basis of race, religion, creed or color.
The campaign is spearheaded by FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) and Never Again.
In order to cut down, rather, prevent racism, the campaign calls for all players and officials to be in touch with the UEFA security officials before and during the game. From there, action will be taken against the violator.
It will be receiving up to €3 million for funding to help quell racist attacks on players and visiting fans.
UEFA is also promoting jersey-swapping to promote “connection with players and fans alike, encouraging everyone to exchange jerseys as a sign of respect for diversity.” (h/t UEFA.com)
Racism in Poland and Ukraine have been especially highlighted after the BBC documentary, “Stadiums of Hate.”
It has documented and brought into the limelight the dissent players of different color and origin face from the fans. It has also shown the lack of action taken by the police and security present. The documentary also showed horrific cases of hooliganism and racist chanting by the Polish and Ukrainian fans.
The documentary, however, has been scrutinized and criticized as nothing but “sensationalist journalism.”
“We have a list of people who behaved aggressively at football matches. Their numbers are tiny, they are known to us and preventive measures will be taken,” Viktor Yanukovych said.
However, it is no secret that some families of players have decided not to attend the event, fearful of the backlash and even Sol Campbell has warned English fans to stay in England. It also doesn’t help that the price of travel and accommodation have been inflated.
Racism will not be tolerated at all at the Euros and referees now have the power to stop or abandon matches if such problems rear its head.