Published on October 15, 2013 | by Ryan Davies

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Purski pushes Poland to diversity

Jacek Purski continues his campaign against racism in soccer during a lecture at the London College of Communication.

Jacek Purski says fans as well as match organisers have responsibilities to avoid hooliganism. [Joshua Hayes]

Polish anti-racism spokesman Jacek Purski visited University of the Arts on the eve of England’s crucial World Cup Qualifier to give an insight into how Poland are dealing with the problem.

Purski, a representative of Never Again, a Polish organization and magazine devoted to eradicating anti-Semitism and racism, spoke at length of how he aims to stop racism in football, including monitoring fans’ behaviour across a number of grounds in Europe.

With 18,000 Polish fans expected at the Wembley match, Purski backed the Football Association’s decision to double the allocation for the away supporters, provided it is regulated in the correct manner.

“If they want to go to the stadium, why not, but only if it goes together with proper safety and security,” explained Purski.

Acceptance

“If there are people who want to enjoy the game and want to have fun that’s great, but that comes with responsibility on their behalf. Football is for fans and not for hooligans.”

Purski’s involvement in projects such as FARE (Football Against Racism in Europe) has seen an increase in the acceptance of minority groups in countries like his homeland. But he has stated that although there have been significant improvements over the years, there is still work to be done to fully combat the issue.

“We saw progression in our work within three years of the Euros coming to Poland, which gave the Polish football family time to develop in a positive way,” he continued.

“The difference from five or ten years ago is really big, but it doesn’t mean the problem is solved, the problem still exists.”

Purski went on to add that the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine was a huge triumph in how the two host nations welcomed football fans from all ethnic backgrounds.

“It was a huge success, it was a great event and it was an event that brought people together and according to social campaigning it was really magnificent,” he added. “People really got the message and it was like celebrating diversity in a way. That was crucial for us.”

 

 

 

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