Scotland: Amnesty Congratulates St Johnstone FC on its Strong Stand Against Racism

Amnesty International today (Thursday April 1st 2004) welcomed St Johnstone football club taking a strong stand against racism in football and called on fans across Scotland to encourage their local club to do the same.

St Johnstone is the first Scottish club to fully sign up to the UEFA 10 point plan to tackle racism in football1. Last month Amnesty International and Show Racism the Red Card launched a new‘Team Up Against Racism’ campaign2 calling for all 42 Scottish professional football clubs to fully implement the plan which sets out ten measures that national associations and clubs should adopt as the framework for action to challenge racism.

Amnesty International will be continuing to press for all other clubs to sign up to the plan. Fans can support the campaign, by sending an electronic postcard to their team from Amnesty’s website.

John Watson, Programme Director for Amnesty International Scotland said, “We are delighted that St Johnstone have been so quick to respond to our campaign and demonstrate how serious they are about tackling racial discrimination. We are now calling on the 41 other clubs to follow their good example and to send the message that racism in Scottish football is totally unacceptable”.

Stewart Duff, Managing Director of St Johnstone Football Club Ltd said: "It is important for all Scottish football clubs to support the UEFA 10 point plan to tackle racism in football and I am certain that other clubs will sign up shortly. Whilst racism is not perceived as being a major problem in Scotland, it is important that we do not become complacent and clubs should send the right message to supporters that racism will not be tolerated."

Roddy McNulty, Campaign Co-ordinator for Scotland, Show Racism the Red Card, said: “Show Racism the Red Card applaud St. Johnstone FC's decision to implement the UEFA 10-point plan. As part of the plan, the Club, stewards and police will now agree a course of action to be taken if racist abuse occurs at McDiarmid Park. Fans now know that racism will not be tolerated at St. Johnstone FC - we hope this example will be echoed round all other SFL and SPL clubs in Scotland”.

NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The UEFA Ten Point Plan, developed by Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) and adopted by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), sets out measures that professional football clubs should adopt as the framework for action to challenge racism. The full text of the UEFA 10 Point Plan can be found at www.farenet.org/10pointplan.asp
2. The campaign was launched on Tuesday 2nd March with the support of the Proclaimers, former Celtic and Chelsea defender Paul Elliott MBE, youth coach for Scotland Rainer Bonhof and SPFA representative Fraser Wishart. Photos are available on request.
Amnesty International and Football: In addition to the campaign, Amnesty International Scotland is also in its fourth year of organising a five-a-side football fundraising tournament, Scotland United. The Scotland United tournament will take place on Bank Holiday Monday the 3rd of May at the World of Football, Edinburgh. Entry forms are available from Amnesty International on +44(0)131 466 6200 or email scotland@amesty.org.uk br />3. Amnesty International’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards.

View latest press releases