SCORE project & LALIGA embark on partnership to combat hate speech & racism in sport!

The European SCORE project ‘Sporting Cities Opposing Racism in Europe’, led by the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, through the Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia (OBERAXE), is launching a new awareness campaign “This match we will win” today. This pioneering initiative in the fight against racism in sport, seeks to promote inclusion and generate debate to help eradicate discriminatory behaviour in sport, which is often encouraged by hate speech.

The SCORE project is a result of the lines of action proposed in the Strategic Framework for Citizenship and Inclusion, against Racism and Xenophobia 2023-2027, which suggests several approaches in various areas, including sport.

The campaign is also supported by LALIGA, whose active participation in this initiative shows its commitment to combating hate, violence and discrimination in the world of football, in line with the activities of its LALIGAVS platform. As such, LALIGA is collaborating on the project, through the distribution of communication materials and raising the project’s visibility through various online and offline media channels, including its corporate profiles on social networks, advertising in the stadiums (Ad boards + DBR) and the LALIGA Bars channel.

LALIGA’s support for the SCORE campaign led by OBERAXE is part of a broader partnership with the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration to jointly combat racism and discrimination inside and outside sport through the participation in joint projects, as well as exchanging tools and knowledge for monitoring hate speech on social media. Thus, this collaborative effort will continue and the partnership will be formalised with an agreement signed by both parties at the start of the 2024-2025 season.

The European SCORE project, co-funded by the European Commission through the 2021 CESR Programme (Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values), started in June 2022 and will end in November 2024. The overall objective of SCORE is to create a broad and inclusive alliance of European cities and local authorities for the promotion of inclusive sport, as well as for the prevention of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance in sport. OBERAXE plays a fundamental role in this task and objective, as, in addition to acting as the project’s leader, it serves as a platform for knowledge, analysis and promotion of everything that helps to combat racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia.

The SCORE campaign will be carried out in six European countries: Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, Austria and Sweden, and is supported by a total of 14 partners:

· LALIGA

· National Office for Combating Hate Crime (ONDOD) of the Ministry of the Interior

· Cidalia, diversity consultancy

· Department of Sports and Internal Affairs of the Getafe City Council;

· Bilbao City Council

· Sabadell City Council

· Association of Intercultural Cities (RECI)

· The Tenerife Immigration Observatory (OBITen) and the General Foundation of the University of La Laguna

· ETC Graz (Austria)

· Network for intercultural community building through education, mentoring, exchange and development of policy and practice (Sweden)

· Doras (Ireland)

· University of Rennes (France)

· PKDI (Greece).

The campaign features local, national and international ambassadors, including sportspeople such as Aauri Bokesa, Thaylor Lubanzadio, Violeta Pérez, Antonio Liu, Nilofar Baya, Djeneba Touré, Melissa Besara, Gustavo Nazar and Juan Diego Amador Rivero.

Hate speech has increased exponentially as a result of its prevalence on the internet and social media. Through the monitoring of hate speech carried out by OBERAXE, it has been observed that the most common episode that triggers hate speech is citizen insecurity (or the perception of it), which was related to 38% of the comments made in January-February 2024. These instances portray migrants and people of other racial origin as a threat to citizenship (21% of content) with no evidence; severely demeaning or dehumanising them (30% of content); and inciting violence against them (31% of content).

The Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Elma Saiz, highlighted the work carried out by OBERAXE, as it leads this European project. “Hate speech has no place in any part of our society. LALIGA’s involvement in SCORE will undoubtedly help to keep it out of the sporting arena,” she said.

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