Uefa expands cups to head off breakaway; Midlands united against racism

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The Independent Online
The problem of racism inside football grounds was highlighted once again yesterday with the launch of a new campaign in the Midlands.

Agari, the Advisory Group Against Racism and Intimidation, has linked up with the sport's ruling bodies, clubs, supporters and the Professional Footballers' Association to develop a plan of action for the Midlands area. A news conference at Birmingham City was attended by representatives and players from the club and officials from the Football Association, the PFA, the Football Supporters' Association, the National Federation of Football Supporters and the Commission for Racial Equality.

A host of activities designed to defeat racism inside the area's grounds were revealed. These include: campaign banners to be paraded on pitches; the distribution of the magazine Kick It, which will be handed out to youngsters during matches; free match tickets for local community groups, with the aim of encouraging more people from ethnic minorities to watch football; and Football in the Community officers working with young people in schools and youth clubs to encourage participation in the campaign.

Herman Ouseley, the chairman of Agari, said: "This campaign is about retaining and building upon football's traditional values. We aim to keep the passion but kick out the prejudice."