18/03/2013 Equality and Non-Discrimination
Strasbourg, 18.03.2013 - Sport should lead by example in combating racism, PACE's Equality Committee said today in a declaration ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March).
Meeting in Warsaw, the committee called on athletes and administrators and leaders in sport, as well as public authorities, to condemn any racist acts or speech and to promote tolerance.
Statement by PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March 2013)
Racism and sport
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination dedicated this year to racism and sport, the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination wishes to recall that no form of racism can be tolerated and that sport, bringing together people of various ethnic, cultural and religious origins, should lead by example in combating this plight.
Sport is a mirror of our societies and their contradictions. It can promote positive values, such as social cohesion, integration and education. However, it can also be at times a vector of violence, discrimination and racism. In the past few years, the number of physical and verbal assaults by supporters or players has increased. In 2012, athletes were asked to leave the London Olympic Games following their racist remarks towards other competitors. Incidents of a racist nature are reported in the media and debated in society, but are not systematically prosecuted.
Recalling the European Sport Charter and its Guidelines on the development of sport policies, the Committee calls on sport leaders and athletes themselves, as well as public authorities, to firmly condemn any discourse or act of a racist nature, and to promote respect, tolerance and solidarity as fundamental values.