World Cup team captains to speak out against discrimination

July 1st, 2010 - 11:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, July 1 (DPA) The captains of the eight teams will read out statements condemning all forms of discrimination before the start of the World Cup quarterfinals, FIFA said Thursday.
Teams and match officials will also pose together alongside a banner displaying the message “Say no to racism” during the pre-match programme.

“The players’ voices help us amplify this message and the call for solidarity, respect and fair play - the basic values of our game,” said Sepp Blatter, head of world football’s governing body.

The fight against racism has special resonance in South Africa, which experienced decades of racial segregation under the Apartheid regime.

“This tournament has brought the people of South Africa together to build on the legacy (former president) Nelson Mandela wanted to create for this country,” said Tokyo Sexwale, a South African government minister and member of the FIFA Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility.

“Although this project cannot solve the problem on its own, it delivers a clear message of zero tolerance of discrimination of any kind,” Sexwale said.

FIFA officials said they had received no reports of racism from fans or players during the tournament.

The four quarter-finals take place Friday and Saturday.

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