The Norwegian Players Union (NISO) organized a massive Show Racism the Red Card manifestation this Wednesday, July 30, in cooperation with the Norway Cup.
A World Record amount of Red Cards was shown to fight this evil in football.
The Show Racism the Red Card manifestation (Gi rasisme rødt kort) was held in Oslo, as the Norwegian capital hosted the 33rd edition of the Norway Cup Tournament. This one-week event is one of the two biggest youth football tournament in the world.
In this year's edition, a total of 1,560 teams and over 32,000 players (boys and girls aged 13 to 19) from 55 nations participate, playing 4,200 matches on 75 pitches.
At the current Norway Cup, several actions are scheduled to address anti-racism. For example, three times a day the speaker announces that the Norway Cup Is a tournament where racism is not welcome.
The highlight of the anti-racism activities occurred at 15.38 hours on Wednesday, halfway the first half of the matches scheduled at that moment. On each of the 75 pitches the referee stopped play, and requested all footballers to line-up and show their support in the fight against anti-racism by waving their Show Racism the Red Cards.
"This was a very good manifestation. Seeing all the young players taking a stand against racism was fantastic", said Peter Werni, NISO project manager. "We handed out 3,000 red cards before the happening. Those who didn't have a card gave a minute of applause instead."
For many years, numerous footballers in Norway have shown red cards to racism. Number wise, Wednesday's event was the biggest support in the history of Show Racism the Red Card worldwide.
NISO runs the Norwegian Show Racism the Red Card programme with Norwegian People's Aid (Norsk Folkehjelp, the labour movement's humanitarian organisation for solidarity). Norsk Folkehjelp secretary general Liv Tørres about Wednesday's event: "This probably means a lot for a team like the squad from South Sudan. The team consists of players from different ethnic groups in the country, the same groups that are fighting in the civil war back in their home country."
There were more activities. NISO arranged that many current and former professional football players had their picture taken showing the red cards, such as Bjørn Helge Riise (Lillestrøm and Norwegian international) and former international players Erik Mykland and Kjetil Rekdal.
Next to footballers, NISO also welcomed other Norwegian sports stars on the site, such as hockey player Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers, NHL) and double Olympic champion Petter Northug (cross country skiing). Both Zuccarello and Northug showed their red cards.
The younger football players – the tournament's participants – had the possibility to create their own personal digital red card which they could share with their friends through social media.
Werni: "It is important for the campaign to reach out to young people with our message. The professional footballers are very good ambassadors for us and we are very thankful for their help to take a clear stand against racism."
Mats Zuccarello, Erik Mykland, Bjørn Helge Riise,
Joachim Walltin (NISO President) and Petter Northug
(Click to enlarge)
Pictured above: Frode Kyvåg, (Secretary General Norway Cup), Raymond Johansen (Secretary General Norwegian Labour Party), Joachim Walltin (President NISO), Liv Tørres (Secretary General Norwegian Peoples Aid), Gerd Kristiansen (Leader Labour Union) and Rigmor Aaserud (member of parliament/ Norw. Labour Party), (Photo: Arne Olsen / Norway Cup)
- Published: 01 August 2014