Next week's matches in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League provide UEFA with a high-profile platform on which to highlight the pan-European fight against racism and intolerance.
The activities to take place are part of the Action Week organised by UEFA's partner in the fight against racism, the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) movement.
Matches across Europe will see the transcontinental campaign against racism, discrimination and intolerance promoted in what has become an annual event with a widespread and increasing impact.
This season's FARE Action Week runs from 14 to 26 October. The initiative sees NGOs, fan and youth groups, ethnic minorities and schools participate in over 2,000 activities across 42 countries from the smallest amateur and community clubs to Europe's major teams.
On this occasion, as part of its Unite Against Racism campaign, UEFA will use its premier club competitions to make its stand against racism. At all 40 UEFA club competition matches played between 19 and 21 October, teams will be accompanied onto the pitch by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts. Team captains are also being asked to wear Unite Against Racism armbands.
A 30-second 'No to Racism' giant-screen spot will be shown, and tannoy announcements will be made before each game. Around 1.2 million fans will watch events directly in the stadiums, while many millions more will see them via live television coverage.
FARE was formed in 1999 by a small collective of fan groups and NGOs concerned by the increasing presence of racism in European football. More than ten years on, this umbrella organisation for groups challenging discrimination on all fronts boasts partners in almost 40 countries in every corner of Europe.
The work of engaging with players, supporters and governing bodies to make football a discrimination-free zone is spreading apace throughout the continent.
UEFA has given considerable financial backing to FARE since a formal accord was signed in 2001. Both bodies cooperate in staging events, issuing publications, and using the massive public and commercial platform of Europe's biggest football matches to press home a message of zero tolerance for any form of racism or discrimination on and off the field.
Visit farenet.org/ to find out more.
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