Unfortunately, as prominent cases in particular in professional sport events have shown, sport continues to be marked by racist behaviour and intolerance. However, racism is not limited to professional sport. A study on racism and ethnic discrimination in sport (2010)
by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency
indicates that such behaviour has become more common as well in amateur sport and even in youth sport. It involves racist and other discriminatory attitudes such as anti-Semitism, anti-Muslimism and homophobia.
Sport has been included in the monitoring of the implementation of the Framework Decision on racism and xenophobia done by the Commission's Directorate General Justice. One of the major implications is that every Member State should adapt its legislation including sport laws and regulations by including measures to be taken against racism.
EU funded projects selected under different funding programmes (Justice and Education) and the Preparatory Action Sport, support the fight against intolerance in sport and social inclusion of migrants and vulnerable groups in society. The Fight Against Racism in Europe (FARE)
network (the launch of this network was financially supported by the EU) and other organisations, like UEFA, demonstrate with their active approach, that the practice of sport can also be an excellent tool to fight against racism. Sport provides citizens with opportunities to interact and join social networks. Especially immigrants are enabled to develop relations with other member of society through sport. In general sport constitutes a tool for reaching out to the underprivileged or groups at risk of or facing discrimination.
Experience from EU funded projects and activities of stakeholders in sport are monitored and define specific measures for the future Sport Chapter in 2014 – 2020. As established in the 2011 Communication on Sport
there is a need for a multi focal approach in which legislation and prevention should go hand in hand. Awareness campaigns are not the only tool to be used in the field of prevention, although they are important to change the general attitudes. But prevention could also include actions for example in sport clubs or at school with substantial effects. In this way sport could have an added value alongside education.