Numerous sites in Poland and Ukraine begin to display the symbol of Inclusive Zones contributing to a friendly multi-cultural atmosphere at EURO 2012. Schools, NGOs, local authorities, cultural institutions, community centres, sports clubs as well as businesses, shops and pubs have all been invited to join the initiative.
The Inclusive Zones initiative is a part of the multi-faceted ‘RESPECT Diversity – Football Unites’ project in frames of the official UEFA EURO 2012 Social Responsibility programme. The project is delivered on behalf of the FARE network by by its long-established regional partner, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. The project’s objective is to promote the positive message of diversity and the power of football to unite across differences, while monitoring and addressing the social and political undercurrents of discrimination, racism and intolerance.
The principle that underpins the Inclusive Zone idea is a simple one – the creation of hundreds of public use buildings and spaces that are designated as being open, accessible and welcoming to people regardless of their ethnic or national background, gender, disability or sexual orientation. The Inclusive Zones are visible and marked through posters and stickers. As part of the initiative each site involved receives specially designed materials and information about ongoing anti-discrimination activities before, during and after EURO 2012 and in this way they become part of a broad and lasting anti-discrimination network.
Mobile Fan Zones will be a special form of promotion of the Inclusive Zones and the RESPECT Diversity message during EURO 2012 going beyond the host cities. From 8 June till 1 July, five special trucks under the heading Fan City Tour will visit about 100 cities and towns across Poland. The Mobile Fan Zones will contribute to a festive atmosphere through public viewing of the games, community events and educational activities with the expected direct participation of around 200,000 people. These events are co-organized by EURO 2012 official sponsors with the participation of the Union of Polish Local Communities and the Union of Polish Cities and with the support of Polish Television – the Official Broadcaster of UEFA EURO 2012.
Moreover, the Inclusive Zones and RESPECT Diversity message will be promoted, among others, at the Carlsberg Fan Camps. Combining the atmosphere of the stadium, pub, picnic and accommodation zone in one place, the Carlsberg Fan Camps will be located in EURO 2012 host cities Warsaw, Wroclaw, Gdansk/Sopot and Poznan.
Special activities highlighting Inclusive Zones and RESPECT Diversity are also planned, among others, in Krakow, where England, Holland and Italy teams will be based and numerous fans are expected to visit the city during the European Championships.
FARE acts as an umbrella organisation for a network of partners in 40 countries challenging racism and discrimination throughout Europe. The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an educational and monitoring organization established in Poland in 1996. Since 2009, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has coordinated the FARE East European Development Project supported by UEFA in the run up to EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.