Published on 30 Октомври, 2022 in News, Children's Leagues
Today, at the "Petar Milosevski" training center, a sports event was held to raise awareness among young people, families, parents and supporters within the campaign of the European Union and the Council of Europe "Block the Hatred ." Share the Love!, which focuses on the fight against hate speech and discrimination, in cooperation with the Football Federation of Macedonia.
The idea of the event was to bring issues of diversity and inclusion closer to young athletes through games and sports, and the main goal of the event was to raise awareness among young people about the different forms of hate speech, as well as to promote ways to fight against hate especially in sports and football.
The event was also an opportunity for young people and supporters, by writing messages of love against hate speech, to express what equality means to them, showing that there is no place for hate in football and that sports fields are a space for healthy competition, support, love and fair play. The message of acceptance and respect for diversity was conveyed during football matches, where visitors had the opportunity to learn about the campaign and its efforts in the fight against hate speech in sports and everyday life.
The main message was delivered by Blagoja Milevski, the head coach of the Macedonian A national team and one of the ambassadors against hate speech within the campaign, who unreservedly expressed his support for this campaign.
"Our game brings together different nationalities and religions. Football means spreading friendship, equality and promoting a healthy lifestyle and sports culture. I encourage all young and older people to actively get involved in the campaign and convey the message of this project about the presence of friendship and equality on sports fields, as well as in everyday life".
Stefen Hudolin, head of cooperation in the EU Delegation in Skopje, emphasized the importance of sports and football and its influence on young people.
"Football is a unifying force, that's why there is no place for hate speech in sports. Sport promotes respect and celebration of achievement and diversity. The EU continues to strongly support efforts to combat hate speech, as well as the promotion of positive values and the spirit of fair play and tolerance. Today I am glad to join this event and share the message – Block the hatred and share the love!”Lejla Dervishagic, operational manager of the Program Office of the Council of Europe in Skopje emphasized that the purpose of sport is to connect people, to contribute to better health and quality of life, breaking down barriers by building trust and a sense of belonging. "For more than 40 years, the Council of Europe has stood for fair play and respect on sports fields. The campaign "Block Hatred. Share the love" is a joint effort of the Council of Europe and the European Union to support the fight against hate speech. We are very happy that today we are joining forces with FFM, which supported the campaign from the very beginning, to jointly send a message against hatred and hate speech in football, but also in everyday life. It is very important that today we share messages that love, fair play and respect are values that we need on and off the football field," says Leyla Dervishagic.
In addition, Filip Popovski, the General Secretary of the FFM supported the event to spread positive messages about the impact of sports and football on future generations.
"Football is an excellent platform for sending positive messages. By initiating activities to raise awareness for a higher level of tolerance on football fields and outside of them, a message is sent to fans, and especially young people, about the harmful effects of hate speech and intolerance. Sincere thanks to the European Union and the Council of Europe for the initiative and support in organizing this campaign. The football federation is always open to cooperation with all organizations and institutions that give their support to the promotion of real values and want to contribute to fair play and a positive atmosphere on and off the field."
The campaign "Block Hatred. Share the Love!'' aims to raise awareness of the different forms of hate speech that target specific communities and individuals in Macedonian society, as well as to promote different ways of countering hate speech. The campaign includes public figures, institutions, organizations and key human rights activists who, through personal testimonies, stories and exchange of good practices, will promote diversity and equality in local communities and throughout the region.
The campaign is implemented within the project "Promotion of diversity and equality in Macedonia", which is part of the joint program of the European Union and the Council of Europe, Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022".