FIFPRO with Show Racism the Red Card International

Pictured: Brendan Archbold (Solidarity officer ICTU and Vice- Chair Show Racism the Red Card, Garrett Mullan (National Co-ordinator of Show Racism the Red Card Ireland) and FIFPRO Ambassador Paul Elliot.Show Racism the Red Card Ireland visited Hampden Park, Scotland’s National Stadium, for a one-day seminar bringing together key representatives of similar projects, local councils. Tony Higgins (FIFPRO) and ex- Celtic and Chelsea star Paul Elliot were among those to address the meetings.The seminar at Scotland’s national stadium had two parts: In the morning the launch of a Good Practice Guide for local government authorities aimed at the UK’s local councils. The afternoon session involved representatives from the professional players’ football associations of England, Ireland, Wales, Denmark and Norway. All these countries have agreed to implement the Show Racism The Red Card Campaign that originated in the UK.FIFPro is an active sponsor of Show Racism the Red Card and is promoting the initiative across Europe urging countries to adopt and implement the good practice developed in Scotland and England.Pictured: PFAI’s Sharon Smith with Garrett Mullan and Paul ElliotIn Scotland, Show Racism the Red Card is active in schools across the nation in the shape of a programme developed in conjunction with The Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association (SPFA) titled ‘Coaching With a Conscience’.This is a project where professional footballers and former players go into schools and get the anti-racism message, along with other positive social messages, across to children utilising football coaching, the profile of the players and the interest in Scotland’s national sport as a means of engaging the interest of the children.One area that the project has been particularly successful has been in challenging and positively changing perception of new communities such as asylum seekers.FIFPro General Secretary Theo van Seggelen comments: “The nations that attended Hampden Park recognise the iconic value of utilising footballers to get important social messages across to children and society as a whole.The work carried out by Show Racism The Red Card Initiative in conjunction with players provided by the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association is very impressive and a perfect example for other countries to utilise in addressing racism and developing children who respect and appreciate diversity in their society.’Tony Higgins, Chairman of FIFPro’s anti-racism committee comments: “Professional football has an excellent number of role models who can work in the community and to overcome social threats such as racism in society. FIFPro is delighted to support the excellent work of Show Racism The Red Card.”Former Celtic and Chelsea star Paul Elliott MBE works as an Ambassador for FIFPro and Patron for Show Racism the Red Card. He will be attending the conference at Hampden and comments: “Football and footballers can play a highly influential part in getting the anti-racism message across to children.Receiving the right message at a young age can set the foundations for the development of a well-balanced adult who respects people of all backgrounds, nationalities, skin colour, religion or none.”The Hampden event in Glasgow was hosted by Billy Singh, Scotland’s Campaign Co-ordinator for Show Racism the Red Card. “The aim of this guide is to increase the number of local authorities working in partnership with our campaign and to spread the anti-racism message across Europe through the medium of Football.“With FIFPro’s help, we undertake direct work in schools with footballers combining the anti-racism message with football training.”

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