Festival aims to combat discrimination in Balkans
Nine youth teams from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia will participate in a festival against nationalism, chauvinism and intolerance in Montenegro.
Workshops and discussion groups will also offer an opportunity for a detailed debate on racism and nationalism. A brochure containing messages against racism and nationalism in the Balkans from well-known players will be distributed during the tournament.
Patron of the event is the Montenegro international Branko Boškovic: “I am very happy to support the tournament. With the power and strength of football we have an instrument to fight racism, discrimination and nationalism.
“Football is a sport for everyone: origin, colour of the skin, religion, boy or girl, young or old – that just doesn’t count.”
“I want to emphasize that it is not important who will win the tournament; it is important that all of the participants contribute to the joint goal of fighting discrimination and nationalism and are taking home the spirit of intercultural respect and understanding.”
Beforehand three regional youth tournaments have been organized with a total number of 18 teams from different parts of the countries.
The first event was held from 24 – 25 July in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. Two regional tournaments take place from 1 – 2 August near the Serbian capital Belgrade and in the Serbian Sandžak, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious region (Orthodox and Muslim) close to the border of Montenegro.
The winner of these regional events qualifies for the final in Kotor and will compete with a ethnically mixed teams from Mostar – Bosnia & Herzegovina, Roma Macedonia, an Albanian and Croatian team as well as with the two hosts from Montenegro – Kokelj Kotor and Kom Podgorica.
Following the successful initiation of the Football Unites the Alps, Adria and the Balkans campaign organized by the Balkan Alpe Adria Project (BAAP), FairPlay-VIDC and the European network Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), the activities have been set to continue from January 2010 until December 2012.
The activities are geographically focused on the basis of co-operations with the football associations of Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia.
The project partners will organize a series of annual regional youth tournaments for boys and girls (under 16) hosted by the national football associations and local clubs with teams from different countries in the Balkans. Nine teams will qualify every year for the final tournament.
Funding for the activities is provided by the football associations of Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia, UEFA and the King Baudouin Foundation.
For more information, please download the event flyer by clicking here.