Stevenage football tournament to tackle racism
A FOOTBALL tournament aimed at helping to stamp out racism will be held next Saturday.
The Czerwona Kartka Rasizmowi - Red Card to Racism - Eastern European Association and The Football Akademy have organised the Stevenage Euro 2012 Respect Community Football Cup.
Supported by the Comet, the tournament for adults will bring together different communities from across Hertfordshire.
Piotr Malecki, who is Polish, lives in Stevenage and represents the association. He said: “The Polish community in Stevenage is organising, alongside The Football Akademy, its own and unique Euro 2012 in Stevenage.
“We would like to invite all communities from Stevenage and Hertfordshire to experience an event which combines sporting excitement with social values of respect, tolerance and integration.”
Euro 2012 has been marred by several racist incidents which are currently being investigated, with Croatia the first country to be charged over racism.
UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation for fans’ racist chants and displaying racist symbols at the Group C match against Italy last Thursday.
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Mr Malecki said: “Obviously any incident of racism is sad to see, but in professional football, when the focus of the media is very, very high, it’s particularly sad, and it doesn’t help in eliminating racists.”
Referring to the Stevenage tournament, he said: “The format of the tournament is similar to Euro 2012. We will have 24 teams playing in four groups. Each team will play at least five games.
“There will be trophies, medals and a lot of attractions outside the football pitch.”
Attractions will include food stalls, music, bouncy castles and children’s activities, to make the event a family day out.
The event on Saturday, June 30, will be held at The Football Akademy on Broadhall Way in Stevenage. It will start at 9am and is set to finish at about 6pm.
Teams interested can still register via firstname.lastname@example.org