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One hour from Vienna, the capital of Slovakia, in a really nice hotel, with wonderful weather, the “Freekick for Equality” conference took place from the 26th of April till the 28th of April. All Partners of the chief organisator and FSE-member FairPlay and many other people from organisations, which are fighting against discrimination, were there to talk about different experiences, get together and make new encouraging contacts to other organisations having the same goal. 120 participants from different countries in Europe came to Bratislava.

Before the actual conference, the meeting with all the partners, who were part of the whole project, like FSE, took place. They gave feedback and talked about the last steps of the project execution.

The first point on the agenda for all participants on the Friday evening was the opening of the “Exhibition against the rules – Lesbians and gays in sport”. You can see many banners with the picture and short biography about professional sportspeople who are gay or lesbian. This touring exhibition is not just in Bratislava and in Slovakian, but also in different countries and four other languages available.

The second day, Saturday, was under the motto “Status Qou” – Analyses, Campaigns and Networking. After the opening speeches and the presentation of the whole project, there was one of the many coffee breaks, before the first panel discussion began. This discussion was about “Cross –sectional approaches to fight discrimination” and the FSE coordinator Daniela Wurbs was the chair. She was talking to representatives of different institutions and organisations, like Honey Thalijeh from FIFA for example. Honey is a co funder of the very first women´s national football team in Palestine and was talking about many interesting things and how she is handling and fighting discrimination.

The other part of the day was filled with three workshops. Every participant was able to attend two of those and they talked about topics like “Sport and inclusion”, Campaigning or “Networking among stakeholders”. Before everybody went to dinner together, the facilitators presented the results of the workshops.

The motto for the Sunday was different: “Moving forward” – New ideas and future activities. It was all about creating a plan, what the next steps in the fight against discrimination should be like. In addition to the opening words, there was another panel discussion. This one was about “Moving to the next step in combating racism and homophobia in sport”. At the end the actionplan and outcomes of the whole conference were presented. All in all the conference was very interesting and with much input the actionplan got full of new activities and Ideas how to continue the fight against homophobia, racism and other kinds of discrimination. All participants have the same opinion: There should be a next “Football for Equality-Project” in the future. The fan activists of the Anti-Discrimination division are on the starting blocks for that…


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