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SRTRC: Show racism the red card

Tackling racism through sport has been a top priority for FIMU (Finland’s multicultural sport federation) as a federation. Already in 2003, FIMU created the SRTRC: Show Racism the Red Card -campaign to bring across the Anti-Racist message throughout the sport fields and society in Finland. This campaign has worked closely with The Finnish Football Players’ Association for the past years to spread out the message in football
world. The campaign has also educational strategy to provide people relevant knowledge and information to help them to face the challenges, tackle racism and build better society. The campaign cooperates with schools and other organizations to educate sports people as well as the next generations in schools.

Generally, in Finland there is zero tolerance for racism in football and in society. Firstly, it is important to acknowledge what racism is. Racism can appear, for example, as a deliberate and conscious act between individuals and groups, or as an unintentional racist behavior based on prejudices and fears. Racism can also manifest itself in structures, such as discriminatory practices and processes in working life, education, and services, where organizations, companies, institutions, and agencies either directly or indirectly discriminate against certain groups of people. Racism is a system in which politics, institutional practices, culture, and other norms maintain racialized social power structures. It is part of social, economic, and political systems in which everyone is a part.

The extent and seriousness of racism is best understood by the people who are targeted by it. Many studies also show the prevalence of racism. Racism can take the form of hate speech, discrimination, violence, or seemingly neutral practices that exclude some people. Cases of discrimination and hate crimes should not be seen only as isolated cases, but the underlying structural discrimination and racism must be recognized.

Racialization is a process through which society assigns hierarchies, assumptions, stereotypes, and prejudices to people, for example due to skin color or assumed ethnic background, related to people's abilities, customs, and morals. Racialization process leads to racist and discriminatory actions, i.e., based on stereotypical definitions, people are consciously or unconsciously treated unequally. Racialization is above all a social
process which leads to racism.

What to do if you come across racism in football matches?

  1. If you see, hear, or otherwise witness racism in a football match, inform the referee about it immediately. The referees are trained to follow a particular protocol in these situations.
  2. When referee hears about a racist incident, he/she must stop the game and inform each team’s staff about it. The referee can fill in a report about what happened after the game and send it to the Finnish Football Association’s discipline committee.
  3. If the racist act comes from the audience, the referee can stop the game and let the organizer of the match event know about the incident. It is the match event’s organizer’s responsibility to remove the troublemaker from the stands with the help of the security guards.