Football the winner in anti-racist cup

4th August 2006 at 01:00
The professional tournament may have ended a month ago with allegations of racial abuse and violent conduct, but an international group of college students has helped to give the World Cup a good name.

Six Solihull College students returned with their tutors and coaches from the Anti-Racist World Cup in Bologna after coming 64th out of 208 teams.

The multi-racial team was invited to join the tournament after Richard Steadman, their football coach, interviewed the organisers as part of his PhD at the college.

Cliff Hall, deputy principal at Solihull, said: "As the only college in the UK competing in the Anti-Racist World Cup, it's a privilege for our students to be involved.

"I'm sure they have benefited from the opportunity to meet other young people from across the globe and widen their horizons."

The Anti-Racist World Cup was set up 10 years ago by Italian fan group Progretto Ultra and anti-fascist organisation Istoreco, with the aim of promoting multi-culturalism and stamping out racism in football.

Teams entered the seven-a-side competition from places as far apart as Texas, Palestine and Ukraine.

The event also includes a music and film festival, political debates and other sporting tournaments - including a cricket competition to build links to Asian fans.

Fabio Dolci, from Istoreco, said: "Music, sport and culture serve as a means for people to get to know each other and a tool for breaking down discriminatory barriers that make it so easy for people to have a negative view of each other."

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