Another World Cup trophy for my Sunday league team

Posted: July 13, 2009 in Euro jaunts, Fan Culture, Republica Internationale FC

Every year the “Anti-Racist World Cup” in northern Italy brings together more than two hundred football teams from around Europe and the whole world, to share their experiences of fighting racism and other forms of discrimination. We’ve been lucky enough to travel to this annual event seven times, and were winners of the Anti-Racist World Cup itself with  a mixed squad in 2006.  The picture shows some of our Republica I.F.C. squad from Leeds with the “KICK SEXISM CUP” that we won at this summer’s event (2009).

This was a really unexpected honour, but as the organisers said on their website “The Coppa Kick Sexism has been assigned to the Leeds-based team Republica Internationale, who are affiliated to the “White Ribbon” campaign and who helped organise workshops here at the Mondiali antirazzisti on gender issues. They also organised our female football tournament at Casalecchio, and, most of all, to have showed with their presence that, as a mixed team, sexism is not only an issue regarding women, but something that must be faced together, men and women.” What an honour ! Something for us all to be really proud of, and an inspiration to keep up the good work…

The tournament is organised by Progetto Ultrà, an orgnisation supported by the regional council of Emilia-Romagna, which aims to defend the traditional values of popular fan culture and to eliminate intolerant and xenophobic behaviour from inside and outside football stadiums through social projects aimed at fans.

They are also backed by Istoreco,  the Institute for the History of the Resistance and Contemporary Society, based in Reggio Emilia, which has for the last 35 years undertaken historical research into fascism, the Second World War, Antifascism and the Resistance. The work of the institute has now been extended to include youth antiracism initiatives (hence their very important work supporting anti-fascist Ultra groups) and international exchanges.

As you can see from this 10-minute video about the 2008 tournament, there is a great time to be had every July at this five-day event for all football teams or supporters’ groups who are committed to fighting discrimination. Of all the videos on their site, this is the one which give sthe best overall idea of the atmosphere of this amazing event (and Claire is on film at around 8 mins, 15 seconds).


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