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Anti-racism message driven home prior to semis

SoccerNews in European Championships 24 Jun 2008

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Euro 2008 semi-finalists will read out messages against racism ahead of their matches as part of the Unite Against Racism campaign at the tournament, organisers said Tuesday.

Team captains will make an on-pitch appeal against racism and in favour of diversity, according to a statement by the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network in partnership with UEFA and players’ organisation FIFPro.

Michael Ballack of Germany and Recber Rustu of Turkey will make their appeal ahead of their match in Basel on Wednesday and Spain’s Iker Casillas and Russia’s Sergei Semak will do likewise 24 hours later in Vienna.

The teams will also be flanked by two Unite Against Racism flags and fans will be invited to join an anti-racism choreography.

All of the 40,000 spectators in Basel and the 50,000 spectators in Vienna will have ‘No to Racism’ messages draped over their seats.

UEFA President Michel Platini welcomed the activities, saying: “The Unite Against Racism campaign serves to demonstrate our respect for diversity. We’re determined to ensure that major footballing events like the Euro are played in an environment of harmony and respect.”

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