FARE LogoFootball Supporters Europe hereby expresses its support for the important work carried out by Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) in monitoring incidents of racism and sectarianism in European football. We reaffirm our opposition to all forms of racist, sectarian, sexist, homophobic and other discriminatory abuse within football.

 

A heated debate has followed the charges levelled by UEFA against Glasgow Rangers following allegations of sectarian chanting by their fans at both the home and away legs of the club’s recent Europa League tie against PSV Eindhoven.

One negative feature of this debate has been the disturbing threats and offensive insults made towards representatives of FARE, and indeed media reporters who have covered the case. These have been accompanied by the allegation that Rangers have been singled out for victimisation.

Based on our long-term experience of the work of FARE, FSE rejects the suggestion that any campaign against a particular club is involved. FARE representatives have always been in our eyes dedicated individuals and groups, in many cases fan activists themselves, focussed on their mission of tackling discrimination in the game.

Having not been present ourselves at the matches concerned, FSE is unable to comment on the substance of the allegations. Nonetheless, it has been our experience that the crucial first step in any endeavours to rid football of discrimination is a recognition and acceptance that a problem exists. This is essential so that the issue can be tackled by all those committed to an end to sectarian hatred, which in this case includes, we are sure, the big majority of Glasgow Rangers fans.

Identifying cases of discriminatory chanting is therefore a key task for the FARE network, and it is vital that FARE representatives continue to enjoy the support of the rest of football in their work.

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