EU Funding: “Different languages, one goal”

The Commission, UEFA and FARE kick off 2008-2009 football season with joint TV spot promoting tolerance through languages

In the context of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, the European Commission, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) and Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) are launching a joint TV spot highlighting tolerance and the role of languages as bridges between people. The spot shows three groups of football fans caught up in the excitement of a match: regardless of their cultural backgrounds, origins or languages, they all share their love of football and react in the same way in different authentic settings. Millions of TV viewers across Europe and beyond will see the spot since it will be aired during the half-time break throughout the entire season’s televised UEFA Champions League football games, as of 16 September. This initiative comes at a time when the Commission is about to present its new strategic Communication on multilingualism, making the case for language learning as well as preserving and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity.

The TV spot is a co-production between the Commission, UEFA and FARE, who also used it as part of their “Unite against racism” campaign, launched on 7 June in Switzerland, in the context of the UEFA EURO 2008. Showing three different groups of football fans in different settings but with identical reactions to a football match ending with a goal, this co-production spans a bridge to the claim of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue “Together in diversity”.

Aired at the interval of each of the 125 matches, this TV spot is expected to reach more than 140 million viewers during each match week of the UEFA Champions League, from September 2008 until May 2009. In Europe alone, it will be screened in more than 40 countries. This is made possible through a partnership with UEFA which has offered up the 30 seconds of airtime that it retains for social initiatives.

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