Anti-sectarianism charity, Nil by Mouth, has been chosen to spearhead a European initiative to promote equality through football across Scotland.
The charity will receive £3,600 of funding to organise the ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ tour in schools, football clubs and community projects across Scotland as part of the ‘Football People‘ campaign which runs across Europe from the 5th-19th October. ‘Football People’ is organised by Football Against Racism Europe (FARE) to promote diversity and inclusion as well as challenge prejudice in the game and this year will see more than 100,000 people take part in activity across 43 countries.
The programme was created to help groups across Europe tackle discrimination and promote social inclusion through football. Fourteen large grants have been awarded to initiatives in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Scotland and Ukraine. These grants will fund a range of national level initiatives including football festivals, road-shows, nation-wide media campaigns, a photography exhibition and conferences. Two hundred small grants have been distributed to fund smaller scale initiatives, such as football tournaments, workshops, exhibitions, discussions, film screenings and more.
During the tour, Nil by Mouth will host a series of events, workshops and cultural exchanges focusing on how football can challenge intolerance as well as promoting how it can be used as a vehicle to unite people. This will include briefing MSPs on the proposed introduction of UEFA’s Strict Liability principles into the Scottish game in an effort to hold the sport to account for repeated instances sectarian, racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour in the stands.
The tour will also visit schools, football clubs and community projects in Glasgow, Stirling, Paisley, Cambuslang, Gretna, The Borders and North & South Lanarkshire offering a mix of sporting events, educational workshops and panel discussions with figures from the world of football.
Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott Said: ‘We are very excited to have been chosen to be part of this European initiative to promote equality through sport. There can be no denying that Scottish football has clear problems with sectarianism and also needs to do more to ensure that other forms of abuse are tackled effectively. We also aim to show that Scottish football can be a beautiful thing which brings people together each week right across the country. From Holyrood to Hamilton we will use this tour to start hundreds of conversations with people about how we can banish the bitterness and focus on the positives of our national game.’