Johannesburg: FIFA is all set to use the World Cup quarter-final matches starting on Saturday to fight racism in the game and has called on fans worldwide to support its 'Say No to Racism' campaign.
"We are saying we want to make a clear statement to the billion of people around the world about football's united stance against racism and all forms of discrimination and there is no better place to do this that in the World Cup," said Federico Addiech, head of FIFA's social responsibility department.
On the lines of the 2009 Confederation Cup, in all the four quarterfinal matches team captains will read a declaration to demonstrate a firm stance against racism not only in football but also in society.
Both teams and the match officials will also pose jointly with a banner displaying the unequivocal 'Say No to Racism' message as part of the official pre-match protocol.
Addiech said, since 2001 FIFA had embarked on a strong campaign against racism in the world's biggest sport and the results have been positive.
"We are definitely seeing a lot of improvement there is a high level of maturity and tolerance among the players and everyone who is involved in football," he said while speaking at a FIFA discussion held yesterday which focuses on fighting racism and discrimination in sport.
First Published: Friday, July 02, 2010, 17:59