BUENOS AIRES — The Simon Wiesenthal Center program against Racism in Sport will be implemented in the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games with the support of the Organization of American States.
The “Eleven Points Against Racism in Football” program works with sport authorities, athletes and referees to stop and prevent racial hatred in sport matches and events and to use sports as a bond between peoples.
On Tuesday, the Latin American representative of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Dr. Ariel Gelblung, confirmed to JTA the agreement with OAS and its support to implement the program during next year’s global event organized by the Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires for young sportsman.
On Friday OAS confirmed its decision to grant its support to the program as a way to fight for fundamental rights.
“If we succeed in eradicating racism, xenophobia and discrimination in sport we can generate a greater awareness in society. As Nelson Mandela has shown, sport is a powerful tool for changing unacceptable behaviors and promoting inclusive societies,” Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro said in a letter to the Wiesenthal Center.
“Over the next year, we look forward to working hard to adopt the program in the lead up to the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games,” said Gelblung, who is planning an educational site inside the Olympic village in Buenos Aires.
The initiative was inspired by a similar program, Football Against Racism in Europe, or FARE, to prevent violence in major sporting events.
In March 2012, the Wiesenthal Center called on the Argentine Football Association to penalize the Chacarita Juniors club over anti-Semitic chants from its fans against Atlanta, a team associated with the Jewish community. One year later, the center asked for sanctions against Atlanta for making racist chants against rival Chacarita.
Israel will participate in the 2018 youth Olympic games, which has soccer star Lionel Messi as one of its main supporters, in which athletes from 206 countries ages 15 to 18 years old will compete in Buenos Aires, October 6 -18, the third edition of the global sport main event for youth organized by the Olympic committee.