Fare network is an umbrella organisation that brings together individuals, informal groups and organisations driven to combat inequality in football and use the sport as a means for social change. Fare’s commitment to tackle discrimination through football’s inclusive power is based on the principle that the game, as the most popular sport in the world, belongs to all and can propel social cohesion. Fare combats all forms of discrimination, including racism, far-right nationalism, sexism, trans- and homophobia and discrimination against disabled people.
The strength of the network lies in the diversity of its members, including fan groups, NGO’s and amateur clubs and grassroots groups, among others, who contribute with their expertise and act in a concerted effort to make discrimination in football a thing of the past. Fare has grown in numbers to become an international organisation with more than 150 members in over 35 European countries. Many more groups and activists join Fare’s activities, campaigns and events throughout the year.
Fare works across all levels of the game to advance social inclusion of marginalised and disenfranchised groups and to engage policy makers, key players and governing bodies in the anti-discrimination movement.
Some of the activities that Fare Network carries out:
- Challenges discrimination at all levels of football
- Uses football as a tool to tackle societal discrimination
- Fosters networking and the transnational exchange of good practice
- Undertakes activities to empower and build capacity of marginalised and discriminated groups
- Gives a voice to those combating discrimination in football
Fare organises, coordinates and supports a series of campaigns that bring together the global football family and the general public to take a stand against inequality and exclusion. Fare’s international campaigns aim to build a broad anti-discrimination movement to raise awareness and to promote diversity. Campaigns organised by Fare are open to everyone who is committed to fight discrimination in football and use football as a vehicle for positive social change. Main Campaigns carried out by Fare:
- Eastern European Development project: Initiated in 2012 and ahead of the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, the Fare Eastern European Development project looked to work alongside ethnic and other minority groups in the region to challenge discrimination, support long-term anti-discrimination activities in Eastern Europe and give guidance and assistance to organisations in the area.
- Football People Action Week: Through the annual Football People action weeks, with annually over 2,000 activities in over 55 countries, the Football People action weeks are the largest campaign against discrimination and for social inclusion in European football. Fare has been able to expand its sphere of influence to countries outside Europe. The organisation works not only in more than 45 European countries, but also with activists in the United States, South Africa, St. Lucia and Brazil. The Football People weeks pose an integral part of the season’s diary in professional, amateur and grassroots football and the general public. During the two weeks in October, the football family celebrates diversity and the game’s power for a positive social change.
- Football versus Homophobia: In 2011 Fare and the international campaign Football v Homophobia (FvH) joined forces to address discrimination against the LGBT community in football. Every year, Fare and FvH call on the football family to actively show their support for LGBT rights and gender equality during February. Fare and FvH make available small grants to support groups around the globe to run activities against homophobia and promoting diversity.
- Match Day Observer Scheme: Independent monitoring system that works at European level to increase the understanding of the extent of discrimination inside football stadiums, collect evidence and conduct analysis based on the findings.
- Anti-racist World Cup: The Mondial Antirazzisti (Anti-racist World Cup), in Italy, is Europe’s largest grassroots football festival, bringing together over 5000 football fans and enthusiasts every summer to counter discrimination. Inviting and welcoming refugee and migrant team is a key feature of the inclusive and free-for-all event.
Fare also uses its expertise to provide advice and support in combating discrimination and promoting social inclusion and regularly organises and supports initiatives, including:
- Hosting international events and conferences
- Producing best practice guides and educational materials
- Organising pan-European and international campaigns, including the Football People action weeks
- Delivering activities at international football competitions
- Monitoring matches and reporting discrimination