Holmes elected chairman of racism and xenophobia network
Anti-racism campaigner Howard Holmes has been elected chairman of a European-wide network which works to counter racism and xenophobia.
Holmes (pictured with Pele), previously a director of Sheffield-based project Football Unites Racism Divides, will serve as chairman of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) until 2015.
FARE was set up in 1999 and receives backing from the European governing body UEFA.
Holmes has had an integral role in FARE since it was founded and has acted as interim chairman for the past two years, during which the organisation has been rebranded as the FARE Network.
“Football is the biggest sport in the world and belongs to us all,” said Holmes.
“It should be the right of every person to play, watch and discuss freely, without fear, and that is why organisations like FARE are so important.
“Sadly racism is still prevalent today. Racial abuse, the exclusion of ethnic minorities and migrants, and other forms of discrimination continue both on and off the pitch and we are determined to fight racism at all levels of professional and amateur football across Europe.”
The FARE Network has active partners in more than 40 countries and is working across the game with fans, players, clubs, migrant and ethnic minority organisations, and governing bodies.
Howard is still committed to anti-racism work in the UK. Although he retired as the Director of Football at Unites Racism Divides (FURD) in 2011 after 16 years, he still has an active role in the project which last month moved to the U-Mix Centre, a £2.5m youth facility in Lowfield, Sheffield.
Howard continues to take a keen interest in various projects delivered by FURD, in particular the Arthur Wharton Heritage Project which aims to bring the story of Britain’s first black professional footballer to young people in South Yorkshire and the wider world.
By Josh Harris
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