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Dialogue, education and cooperation with fans will yield more deep-rooted change, Spahn believes, and football stakeholders need to develop a long-term perspective and strategies. Spahn has formidable experience as an expert in security, safety and crowd management. He said that he experienced much more racism away from football, in restaurants, for example, or just walking down the street, than he ever did inside the stadium or when he was playing.
He was talking about his experiences in France and England. I see the same thing.
Football is used by the media, by politicians and others to address a problem which is really much more a problem in society than in football itself. But we must also consider the reality, and that reality is clear from the statistics. Except for some countries in the eastern part of Europe, across most of Europe the situation is not that bad in football.
Placed into perspective, we have hundreds of millions of spectators attending matches and, at the end of the year, despite intense scrutiny, only a few racist incidents are discussed in the media. The truth is that outside the stadiums, in broader society as a whole, the problem is much worse than in football. The fundamental problem in these countries is that the issue is rarely even acknowledged, let alone confronted. Many of these are simply oblivious to the fact that this is an issue and it is unacceptable, with no place in respectable societies.
In these countries, there are no fan associations working against racism, and football authorities may not have the required level of knowledge and expertise.
EURO 2012: UKRAINIAN VIOLENCE & RACISM ENSURES UK'S FANS DON'T TRAVEL
There has to be a reaction by all the relevant stakeholders, first of all to acknowledge problems where they exist, then to work together to change behaviour. In Britain, an edition of the BBC Panorama programme showed shocking scenes of racist and neo-nazi incitement at Polish and Ukrainian league games — and of police disinterest. Spahn, who acted as a security official during Euro , reports that there were indeed incidents. This behaviour is unacceptable. Mario Balotelli was booed by Ireland fans in Poznan. If someone would label this type of incident as racism, they would of course be missing the point.
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Based on my experience of them, the Ireland fans are fair supporters with no history of violence or misbehaving, and they did nothing wrong. Then I went to Kiev for the quarter finals, semi-final and final and it was perfect there as well.
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I walked around observing the fans in the stadia precincts, city centres, and I went to the public viewing areas. Nowhere did I feel a sense that there was any kind of tension. Spahn, however, is more cautious.
Certainly, for the four weeks of the tournament the problem was not evident. Unfortunately, I lost my only daughter, Roseanne, in a car accident four years ago and I have volunteered since in her memory. Expand Kevin Stewart is an experienced volunteer having worked at the Olympics and Silverstone in the past. But volunteering puts a smile on my face. I just love helping people and doing so, in turn, helps me because it keeps me positive.
Our volunteer scouts are not only inspiring, but also play a vital role in recruiting the right teams to make the London games at the tournament a success.
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Tickets Official Shop Wembley St. Sheff Utd. Man Utd. Aston Villa. First Ronaldo sees Aaron Ramsey 'steal' his goal Arsenal substitutes go wild after nutmegging ballboy in rondo ahead of clash against Vitoria Could have done with him on the pitch in the end 'Everything went well Bok home! According to the driver he could never beat back in the day!
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