Faith in Football

Football results as FA tackles antisemitism

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By Marcus Dysch, July 7, 2011

A Football Association initiative will tackle antisemitism and Islamophobia by encouraging cross-community matches, interfaith tournaments and grassroots education.

Faith in Football had its inaugural meeting at Wembley Stadium and will be chaired by Alex Goldberg of the European Centre for Jewish Leadership and the Faiths Forum for London.
Southport Hebrew Congregation's Rabbi Zevi Saunders, who manages MJSL side Crumpsall FC, will also work as part of the coalition.

Its establishment follows recommendations made by an FA commission into antisemitism and Islamophobia three years ago presided over by MP John Mann, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism.

Faith in Football wants to organise cross-community tournaments at stadiums around the country with finals taking place at Wembley.

There will also be efforts to develop football in religious communities. Education sessions will be run at
learning zones at Wembley and other stadiums.

"It's remarkable that we have a consensus within this group that football can promote social action and break down barriers between people of different faiths," Mr Goldberg said.

"Collectively we have a responsibility to tackle faith-based discrimination in the game and a need to bridge the gap between football and religious communities where football has not been played in a structured way."

Football Association equality co-ordinator Jonathan Mills added: "We have been working closely with John Mann on a whole-football approach to tackling antisemitism and Islamophobia. This working group is certainly a step in the right direction in promoting unity between people of different faiths."
The Three Faiths Forum, the Metropolitan Police, the Muslim Women's Sports Foundation and the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign are among organisations working with Faith
in Football.

Its next meeting will take place in September in the Midlands, but sub-groups have already started work in communities around the country.

Source: http://www.thejc.com/community/community-life/51339/football-result-fa-tackles-antisemitism

Faith in Football


FA
Monday, 27 June, 2011
Working group set up to help tackle anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

faith-in-football-working-group

On the 22 June, The FA held the inaugural meeting of the Faith In Football Working Group at Wembley Stadium.

The group, chaired by Alex Goldberg from the Faiths Forum for London and the European Center for Jewish Leadership, met to agree a set of principles by which the group would work together; and use the power of football to break down barriers between people of different religious denominations.

The meeting was attended by Alison Vaughan (Kick it Out), Butch Fazal (Luton SFC and FA REAG Member), Majid Lavji and Lee Owen (Asia Europe), Sukhvinder Cheema, Rimla Akhter (Muslim Women Sports Foundation and FA REAG member), Rabbi Zevi Sanders (Southport Hebrew Congregation and Manager Crumpsall FC), Aisling Cohn (Three Faith Forums) and Abdal Ahmed (Osmani Trust) and a representative of the Metropolitan Police Safe Neighbourhood Teams.

Over the next 12 months, the group will be setting up a number of tournaments and competitions across the country at high profile stadiums and raising good practice around Faith In Football as part of The FAs Get Into Football campaign. The group will also work closely with Kick it Out as part of the Kick it Out Weeks of Action campaign as well as holding education sessions at Wembley stadium.

Alex Goldberg said: “It's remarkable that we have a consensus within this group that football can promote social action and break down barriers between people of different faiths. Collectively we have a responsibility to tackling faith based discrimination in the game, particularly Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and a need to bridge the gap between football and religious communities where football has not been played in a structured way. Clearly, The FA is moving in the right direction in addressing these issues and moving this important agenda forward.”

Butch Fazal of Luton SFC, added: ”It’s a piece of work that is critically important and by raising awareness through this group and educating others, we can begin to challenge Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism.”

Alison Vaughan, Campaign Manager for Kick it Out, said: ”It is really important that we recognise good practice in this area of work, and through our Weeks of Action programmes, we can encourage education and raise awareness around this topic in schools and pull together regional seminars to debate and discuss the topic further.”

Rimla Akhter of the Muslim Women’s Sports Foundation commented: ”It is equally important to educate the adults and parents as well as young people.”

Finally, The FA's Equality Co-ordinator Jonathan Mills said: “Over the past couple of years, The FA has been working closely with John Mann MP on a whole football approach to tackling Anit-Semitism and Islamophobia. This working group is certainly a step in the right direction in promoting unity between people of different faiths.”

The group will meet again in September in the West Midlands, if you would like to get involved please contact Alex Goldberg
alexander@jdceurope.org or Jonathan Mills jonathan.mills@thefa.com