FRA Director Morten Kjaerum: "Sport has enormous potential to bring people from all walks of life together. Sports events therefore provide the ideal platform for fostering inclusion, diversity and mutual respect, while combating racism, discrimination and exclusion. Our research findings show, however, that often this potential is not realised. Instead, incidences of racism and ethnic discrimination continue to affect sports at both professional and amateur levels across the EU. We have to get the ball rolling and tackle this; everybody needs to take up their responsibly in this regard."
Widening participation in sport
In many sports across the European Union, minorities and migrants are underrepresented, especially in the management of sports organisations. Women and girls with an ethnic minority background are particularly underrepresented.
More targeted activities by sports governing bodies, federations and clubs are necessary - such as diversity programmes to encourage the participation of migrants and ethnic minorities in sports, and initiatives to remove the barriers to accessing management positions in sports organisations.
Monitoring racist incidents in sport
Systems monitoring racist incidents in sports only exist in a number of EU Member States. Some are more advanced and capture more racist incidents than others; most available data, however, are related to football.
National and local authorities are encouraged to develop effective ways of monitoring racist incidents and discrimination in sport, in close cooperation with sports federations.
Equality Bodies and sport
The FRA report shows that in at least 16 EU Member States Equality Bodies and other institutions, such as National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), take action in cases of racist incidents and ethnic discrimination in sport.
Equality Bodies and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) should be more involved in addressing racial discrimination in sport. These bodies could support sports federations and clubs in developing awareness-raising activities. They could provide support to potential victims and, where this is permitted, participate in legal action against perpetrators.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published two reports on racism,ethnic discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport in the EU:
Racism, ethnic discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport: a comparative overview of the situation in the European Union
Racism, ethnic discrimination and exclusion of migrants and minorities in sport: the situation in the European Union - Summary Report
A Handbook of good practice will be published in 2011 for sports federations, clubs, and players or athletes, with examples of initiatives to combat racism, ethnic discrimination and the exclusion of migrants and minorities in sports.
Notes to Editors:
Sports examined in each Member State
EU Member State
Football, athletics, alpine skiing
Football, athletics, basketball
Football, athletics, volleyball
Football, athletics, ice hockey
Football, athletics, handball
Football athletics, tennis
Football, athletics, water polo
Football, athletics, hurling/camogie
Football, athletics, cycling
Football, athletics, korfball
Football, athletics, speedway racing
Football, athletics, cricket