Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Xenophobia in Sport

Xenophobia in Sport

The Law 19/2007 against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sports is the main one to combat racism in sports. Contains specific measures applicable to the field of sports activities. In 2017, a bill amending Law 19/2007 to eliminate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in sports was introduced in the Spanish Parliament. In June 2020, one house of parliament (the Senate) approved the bill, and in 2021 it was finally approved. The bill was approved by the Spanish Parliament.

Despite this, the issue of Xenophobia around sports and the connections between neo-fascists and soccer fans remains relevant. It has especially intensified in connection with the Catalan events. In fact, as reported by the Movement against Intolerance, which publishes an annual RAXEN report collecting data on racist, xenophobic and related incidents, racist and neo-Nazi groups often find new followers among ultra-football fans. Similarly, the State Commission on Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Sports, known as the Football Violence Commission, reported 13 incidents of racism and xenophobia in the 2017-2018 season. On a positive note, according to this report, there has been a significant reduction in these incidents in recent years (a 50 percent decrease since the 2012-2013 season).

At a soccer match on August 21, 2016 between Sporting Gijon and Club Atlético de Madrid, Spanish soccer player Iñaki Williams forced the referee to stop the match for one minute to ask the field delegate to make radical fans stop shouting sounds imitating those of a monkey. After the incident, anti-racist non-governmental organizations called for a drastic eradication of the practice from soccer fields.

SOS Racismo and Movimiento Contra La Intolerancia said they are concerned about the recurrence of racist incidents in Spanish soccer. SOS Racismo spokesman Mikel Mazquiarán stressed that authorities cannot ban such demonstrations, while Movimiento president Esteban Ibarra explained, "This incident highlights the presence of ultra-racist groups in soccer stadiums, a problem that has yet to be solved." Ibarra also emphasized the referee's decision, saying that he had acted correctly and in accordance with the disciplinary laws of soccer, and that his actions should be an example.

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