Aston Villa striker Darren Bent has endorsed a guide to tackling discrimination in sport produced by the European Union agency responsible for equal rights.

The document offers advice for governing bodies, NGO’s and national anti-discrimination bodies on ways to overcome discrimination and the under- representation of minorities in sport.

In his introduction to the report, Bent says: “As a human being I am against all forms of discrimination. As a sports person who has been privileged to play at the highest level, I support all actions that challenge racism and therefore welcome this guide that I hope will be used by stakeholders as a call to action.”

He continued: “Racism and discrimination is morally wrong; we should also ask ourselves what we are doing to contribute to challenging it.”

The ‘Guide of Promising Practices, Initiatives and Activities’ has been written for the Vienna-based Fundamental Rights Agency by members of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) Network, led by academic Georg Spitaler.

The three areas of activity covered by the guide are Preventing racist incidents, Combating the under-representation of minorities, and Action by government Equality Bodies.

Piara Powar, executive director of FARE, welcomed the report: “The importance of this document lies in both the examples it offers, and its publication by an EU agency. It will therefore we hope start an important round of action by governments.”

The guide goes through a series of examples that include:

• How to raise awareness through the FARE action weeks in Portugal

• Tackling anti-Gypsyism in Romania by the ‘Racism Breaks the Game’

• Italy: Working with organised fan groups at Progetto Ultrà

• The Fan Project Coordination Centre by KOS in Germany

• Denmark: Increasing diversity and inclusiveness in sport associations and clubs

• Hungary: Integration of marginalized communities through sport by the Internationale Club de Football

• Germany: Encouraging ethnic minority women to get involved in sport by START

• Equality Standard for Professional Football Clubs from Kick It Out, England

• Action by National Equality bodies by the Centre for Equal
Opportunities in Belgium

(kickitout.org)