5 December 2010

THE FINAL OF THE WARSAW ETHNO-LEAGUE TOURNAMENT. LET'S KICK IT OUT! 'LET'S KICK RACISM OUT' is the slogan for the last in the series of the indoor multicultural football tournament - The Warsaw Ethno-league. Organised by the Foundation for Freedom and the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association, its main aim has been the integration of Warsaw's inhabitants originating from different parts of the world. The participants, both men and women, come from such countries as Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, Congo, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Mexico, Canada, France, Ireland, Chechnya and Poland.

The programme for the final tournament, which took place on the 4th of December 2010, included a presentation match with the participation of football stars from the Former Polish Footballers Association, multicultural workshops for children lead by the League's players, a press conference, an award giving ceremony with the renowned English footballer and anti-racist campaigner Paul Elliot, films, photographic exhibition, concerts and antiracist graffiti workshops.

The tournament's participants all agreed that the forthcoming European Championship UEFA EURO 2012 should be maintained in the Ethno-league spirit. It should be multicultural, tolerant and racism-free.

'Football should always unite people, not divide them. Everybody has the right to play it and to support it. That's precisely what makes this game so beautiful,' said Paul Elliott during the award giving ceremony.

The Ethno-league model was also presented at the 'No to Racism in Sport' conference, which took place on the 2nd of December at the headquarters of the Polish Olympic Committee. This annual conference is organised by the Government's Representative for Equal Treatment in collaboration with the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, the Polish Olympic Committee, and the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association.

The main speakers at the conference included sport officials, government ministers, FARE and 'NEVER AGAIN' Association representatives. A 'Prevention of Racism in Sport' workshop was performed during the conference alongside presentations given by the event's organisers, an award giving ceremony for journalists in the 'Stop Racism in Sports' competition and the handing of the 'No to Racism in Sport' declaration to sport associations.

'Only thanks to such initiatives as the Ethno-league as well as the involvement of institutions that were present in the No to Racism in Sport conference, we can create a positive, antiracist environment during the European Championship UEFA EURO 2012' - concluded Jacek Purski from the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association.

The 'NEVER AGAIN' Association is an independent anti-fascist organization established in 1996. It runs the 'Let's Kick Racism out of the Stadiums' campaign. Since 2009, the Association has coordinated the FARE East European Development Project supported by UEFA in the lead up to EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

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