Over 140 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) call on UEFA to combat racism/discrimination in football
European Parliament Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup, Co-President Member of European Parliament Samira Rafaela (RENEW EUROPE) and over 140 MEPs sent a letter to the European Football Association UEFA. In the letter, they call upon UEFA to combat racism in European stadiums more vigorously, following a string of incidents all over Europe. The most recent incident being racist slurs from the stands at a game in the second-highest tier of Dutch professional football.
Samira Rafaela MEP’s statement on the letter:
“This weekend’s event was not an incident, but part of a pattern in all European competitions that has existed for decades. Enough is enough. Racism is unacceptable, no matter the circumstances.
Football is Europe’s most popular sport. Many football lovers play the game themselves. Purely for recreation or competitive. A select group of talented players is able to play professionally. These pros draw hundreds of thousands of fans to stadiums on a weekly basis. Millions more watch their favourite teams on television or through web streaming. Football has been called the beautiful game for good reason. There is beauty in the joy of winning, and in the pain of loss. The racism however should not be part of it. It taints the beautiful game.
When the Netherlands became European champions in 2017, I was as happy as any of my compatriots. That happiness contrasts with the anger and sadness I feel when racism rears its ugly head in stadiums. That ugly face should go.”