The fight against racism and antisemitism in stadiums. Gravina: “New measures are coming”

Minister for Sport Spadafora announced: “We are working with the FIGC President to introduce new technology that will be used by all clubs”

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The fight against racism and antisemitism in stadiums. Gravina: “New measures are coming”

As a part of the services on Holocaust Remembrance Day, football clubs and sporting institutions responded to the Union of Italian Jewish Communities’ (UCEI) call for an even firmer commitment to the fight against racism and antisemitism in stadiums. A strong and unified message was set out today at the UCEI Bibliographic Centre during the event “Kick out racism”.

“It is thought that the stadium can be a place where everything is allowed and this has led to a series of decisive interventions”: these are the words of FIGC President Gabriele Gravina, who then added that “the world of football has activated mechanisms for short, medium and long-term planning. We must understand that collective punishment is an ethical mistake, we must punish the individuals who carry out the action. In the short term we have tightened the rules against racism in stadiums; in the medium term we hope to experiment with what we have called passive radar and then in the long term there is the cultural aspect with the work schools with those who will be the fans of tomorrow.” President Gravina then specified that “it is a high-definition facial recognition system which we will experiment with alongside the clubs.”

At the event, which was organised by the UCEI President Noemi Di Segni, was also attended by Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora, FIGC General Secretary Marco Brunelli, Lega Serie C President Francesco Ghirelli, Italian Footballers’ Association President Damiano Tommasi, the CEO of the Lega Calcio Serie A Luigi De Siervo and many representatives from football clubs.

To strengthen this commitment, those present signed the “Manifesto of non-hostile communication for sport”, created by the association Parole O_Stili.

“I’m working with FIGC President Grabriele Gravina”, said Minister Spadafora: “on the introduction of new technology which can help the situation by putting legal pressure on the clubs until the introduce it. Gravina had an excellent idea which discussed together with his team.”

The meeting with the President of the Football Federation took place “last week” the minister announced. “We kept it confidential because we are coming to a conclusion with an agreement for these new measures, and we want to communicate them, as is normal for me, when we are sure that we have the possibility of presenting an applicable measure. I seriously believe that in a short time we will have new technological measures which will be extremely advanced and which will have never been used before in our country, and above all we will take action where we can, I cannot force the clubs and stadiums to do anything, but I can definitely use all the power I have as Minister for Sport to call very strongly upon all clubs to make use of this technology and to put themselves at the disposal of the Police.