In its origins, football has always been a catalyst for bringing people together and creating cross cultural connections. From the sport’s inception, British sailors and merchants brought the game to the world, as a means of recreation which inevitably built up strong informal relationships. Today, the sport is ubiquitous in all corners of the globe. However, as the phenomenon of mass migration continues to grow the role of the game in creating human links is more important than ever.
This past week, thousands of supporters from across Europe and across the world gathered in a small forest on the outskirts of Modena, Italy to take part in the 19th edition of the Anti-Racism World Cup. Known locally as the Mondiali Antirazzisti, the tournament brought together nearly 5,000 people, making up 170 individual teams.
The Mondiali Antirazzisti were originally established in 1996 in order to bring together fan groups and migrant communities, to create dialogue, and fight the scourge of discrimination in the beautiful game. Since the tournament’s inception, the Mondiali have become a staple for liberal minded fan groups.
Copa90 was on hand at the tournament building contacts with local fan groups, sourcing new stories, and learning about the role it plays in people’s lives, and it blew us away! Here is a smattering of shirts that we saw in the tournament… Just to give you an idea of how wide of a reach this game can have.