Kick It Out: how to lead a broader fight against discrimination.

The Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is an example of a victim of racial offences, on and off the pitch.

The Italy concerns regard the relation between the player and the supporters. And this kind of problem constitutes the main deal for the Mediterranean Peninsula, more than the troubles made by fans.

Every country should find correct answers for its own problems.
However, the strongest solution should be the prevention of these cases.

For this reason,
Richard Bates, Media and Communications Manager of the Kick It Out organization, emphasized the education of the people involved as the most effective solution.

Mr Bates was invited for a morning talk at the University of Westminster on 20th October.
The need for education – which should not be seen as a punishment – to promote equity and fairness was the main focus of the meeting. This is necessary for more correct behaviour, in particular on the part for the supporters.
Indeed, off-pitch conduct is one of the main issues of this organisation which tackles racism and discrimination in the football world.

Asked about an international arrangement in Europe against these threats, Mr Bates answered that Kick It Out is currently working towards this direction with Football Against Racism in Europe (Fare Network). This last is a transnational network with the participation of over thirty European countries, in addition to overseas activists.

Similar to Kick It Out, Fare Network works across all levels of the game – not only professional ones - to integrate marginalised groups.
Defined as an umbrella organization, Fare Network monitors matches and reporting in order to carry on a shared anti-discrimination movement. It was established in 1999, six years after the birth of Kick It Out.
Richard Bates
Photo Credit: Cristiana Ferrauti 

“Every country has got their own stages to try do deal with these matters”, Richard Bates said. He is part of a body which is an important association for this kind of actions, not because “England is further down the line, he continued, but because we represent a sort of exemplar”.

The challenge for Kick It Out is to maintain this level and to push other countries to operate in the same way.

Looking in particular at the UK, Kick It Out also places much importance on off-the-pitch behaviour.
The spread of using the social media, in this sense, has increased the rate of discriminatory insults over the networks.
But Mobile Apps and the website have helped people to report cases among supporters.

Social media, international anti-racism agreements and, more broadly, every way of insulting the other, are ordinary themes that occur in everyday life.
Therefore, an increased awareness and the appeal to organizations to take their responsibilities for a greater fairness are significant, even for the people not interested in football.

“Kick It Out deals with all forms of discrimination”, Richard Bates said.

Football works as a medium: looking at the improvements made until now, the appearance of more discrimination cases is probably due to the greater confidence this organization has introduced in the people.