November 2011 - Racism and social inclusion in sport


Welcome to this new edition of the ENARgy webzine, dedicated to racism and social inclusion in sport. It starts by setting the framework on exclusion, racism and structural discrimination in sport and explaining the EU’s sports policy. Further articles present measures taken by fans’ organisations to tackle overt racism in football and how the media deals with this topic. In this issue we also offer an analysis of the social inclusion potential of sport, and examples of local and European initiatives to promote access to sport for ethnic minorities and social inclusion of minorities through sport. If you want to read the webzine in pdf format, you can download it here

Sport for all, all for sport?

This article sets the framework on exclusion, racism and structural discrimination in sport and presents some of the key findings and recommendations of FRA’s recent study on “Racism, ethnic discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport: the situation in the European Union”.

The EU’s involvement in sport and social inclusion of migrants

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, sport now also has a European dimension. This article presents the EU’s involvement in sport over the years and in particular the latest proposals put forward in this area, with a specific focus on the role of sport in promoting social inclusion of disadvantaged groups.

Tackling discrimination in football: the fans’ perspective

Football is played on every continent by people of all nationalities, beliefs, cultures and social backgrounds. The same applies when it comes to the fans in the stands. Regardless of who you are and where you come from, it is the players, your club, and your friends that matter when supporting your team. Therefore, football stadiums and the life around them have a great potential to bring people together. But just like with everything else, the situation inside the stands is just a mirror of society and the city and country around it, with all its positives and negatives.

Journalism and the challenge of racism in sport

Sport and the media share one common feature - they both exemplify the notion of fairness. In sport, the capacity of an individual to succeed is determined by the pure talent that one is born with regardless of his or her race or ethnicity. Accountable media and journalists always strive to tell the truth through fair and accurate reporting.

Sport and social inclusion: A theoretical framework

Although sport is regarded as one of the most open social subsystems, there is no doubt that discrimination and unequal access continue to be challenges in this area. Nevertheless, in the past few decades, sport has been increasingly recognised as an important tool for the social inclusion of marginalised groups, among them migrants and minorities. This situation reflects a mixed perception of sport and its potential to contribute to social inclusion, characterised by trust on the one hand and doubt on the other. Those working in the “world of sport” share a more optimistic view, while policy makers expect evidence to underline the “added value of sport”. This gives critical analysts and researchers the task to investigate and clarify under what conditions sport can be used as a vehicle of social integration.

“Creating a Level Playing Field”: Project on social inclusion in and through sport

Sport can help Europe to address some of the challenges related to the integration of people from less privileged groups, such as migrants and persons of foreign origin. “Creating a Level Playing Field” is a project on social inclusion steered by ENGSO, the European Non-Governmental Sport Organisation, which is the European umbrella body for the National Sport Confederations and National Olympic Committees.

Mondiali Antirazzisti: Uniting migrants and fans against racism

The Italian Sport for All Association UISP created the Mondiali Antirazzisti, the anti-racism World Cup, as a challenge, in order to prove that coexistence between diverse cultures is possible and that multiculturalism is a vital and incredible resource for us all. The Mondiali Antirazzisti is basically a non competitive football tournament open to all.

Emergence-XL: Supporting young job seekers through sport

Emergence-XL? The name may not mean anything to you, but it is a new organisation which has been working for over two years to help young job seekers from deprived communities to define a career plan and support them in the process of finding stable employment. Many young unemployed people have faced problems in the course of their lives, sometimes right from when they were at school. These problems may be economic, administrative, social or related to housing but they mean that the young person doesn’t know where to start and is impeded in looking for work.