Young Scot: United Stand: Show Racism the Red Card; with Racist Attacks on the Rise in Scotland, It Now Really Is Time to Take the Lead from Those Involved in Our Beautiful Game and Finally Kick Racism into Touch Where It Belongs

Article excerpt

THE great Portuguese footballer Eusebio once said: 'Black or white, we all have football under our skin.' Say what you like about the game, but football remains one of the few things around that can unite people all over the globe.

It is a great way of celebrating the world we live in and bringing people together, no matter if they are old or young, male or female, black or white.

Whether it's Brazil, Nigeria, Iran, America or Scotland, football is something that people can feel passionate about. It's also a true team sport, which means that people have to work together to gain success, no matter their background.

It's no surprise then that football is seen as an ideal tool with which to combat the menace of racism.

Unfortunately, racist attacks are on the rise in Scotland up 61 per cent since 2000, according to recent statistics.

This doesn't count the verbal and physical attacks that go unreported in our communities.

Set up in 1996, Show Racism The Red Card is a campaign that hopes to make a difference to these statistics by using the beautiful game as a means to spread the word that there is no place for racial discrimination in a modern, forward-looking society such as Scotland.

Players from across Scotland and the rest of the UK have supported the campaign and in January this year, every first team player in every SPL team showed racism the red card before kicking off their games.

A month later, pop band The Proclaimers, former Celtic and Chelsea defender Paul Elliott MBE, Scotland Under-21 coach Rainer Bonhof and Fraser Wishart from the Scottish Professional Footballers' Association joined forces to launch Scotland United, Amnesty International's annual five-a-side football fundraising tournament.

The tournament will take place next month and will feature teams of all ages and backgrounds from across Scotland taking part in a competition which will see the winners walk away with a rather nifty-looking trophy.

The celebrities also urged football fans to help eliminate racism by sending a Team Up Against Racism e-postcard from Amnesty's website.

Fans can now log on to www.amnesty.org.uk/scotland and send a postcard to the chairman of the team they support, urging them to play a part in eliminating the problem. …