A TRALEE soccer club is taking steps to combat racism by showing it the red card as part of an FAI initiative.
As Ireland changes with immigration, this is reflected in in our clubs and institutions and St Brendans Park FC Chairman, Colm McLoughlin, tells us that 30% of players at the club are from non-Irish backgrounds.
The club have undertaken an anti-racism initiative from the FAI called ‘Show Racism the Red Card’.
The aim of the association is to produce anti-racist educational resources, which harness the high profile of professional footballers to combat racism.
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“As far as we at St Brendans Park are concerned there is no place for racism in any shape or form,” said Colm McLoughlin.
The campaign has education through sport as a common goal, but draws on different local resources to get the message across.
“It is an issue and it can go undetected, I’ve often heard it at games, I wouldn’t be happy with a lot of comments passed at games so it definitely is an issue that needs to be fully addressed,” he said.
“The punishment for any player making a racist comment is a straight red card. Child protection officers would deal with it then, but it’s a delicate issue, you nearly have to be on the spot when it happens.”
“‘Prevention is the cure’ is the way we look at it, catching kids early and educating them that is no place for racism on or off the pitch.”
Show Racism the Red Card is also present in the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark.