Football stars start anti-racism campaign
28 January 2005, MADRID-Football stars began an anti-racism campaign inspired after the Spain team coach insulted Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry.
28 January 2005
MADRID-Football stars began an anti-racism campaign inspired after the Spain team coach insulted Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry.
Players including Henry, Roberto Carlos of Real Madrid and Jordi Puyol of Barcelona took part in an advertisement holding placards in Spanish to combat racist chanting at games across the country.
At the end of the television adverts, they say: "Stand up, speak out."
Henry revealed how he had been inspired into action following Spain coach's Luis Aragones' racist comments about him during a Spain training session last October.
The controversy came before black England players were abused by Spain fans during a 'friendly' game in Madrid in November.
Having seen how the Spanish FA were then fined just GBP 45,000 for the racist abuse endured by black England players in Madrid, he felt that he must act.
Together with Nike, Henry enlisted the help of leading players around Europe to launch a campaign entitled 'Stand Up Speak Up', together with a black and white interlocked wristband.
This aims to raise funds for anti-racism groups, as well as promoting the issue, urging fans not to sit in silence amid any racist abuse and keeping up pressure on UEFA and FIFA to take action.
Henry said he would be prepared to meet Aragones, but said while he could forgive the racist slur, he stressed that he could "never forget".
"I would like the authorities to step in a bit harder, but then I thought I could bring everyone behind me in the fight against racism," explained Henry.
"We are suffering out there as human beings but the game is suffering as well. We are aware this campaign cannot change everything but doing nothing will certainly not change anything at all."
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news