Guest Post by Sean PhilippFor the seventh time, FreundInnen der Friedhofstribüne and Wiener Sportklub have hosted their annual football tournament Ute Bock Cup, a football jamboree for big and small, young and old, simply everyone who enjoys football, good tunes, good food or just a relaxed Sunday out at the Sport-Club Platz in Vienna, Austria’s oldest ground. As always, the event sends a clear message against racism, discrimination and homophobia – on the pitch and beyond.
All different – All equal!
Since their foundation, FreundInnen der Friedhofstribüne (Friends of the Graveyard Stand, after the adjacent graveyard), a fan club of Wiener Sportklub, have taken a stand against racism, homophobia and all other forms of discrimination. Although the club’s colours black and white dominate the pitch on match day, the fans’ mentality and attitude towards football and society does not use such characterisations. In fact, they are actively engaged in promoting equality and anti-racism at football matches and at other events and activities. FreundInnen der Friedhofstribüne are a founding member of the Austrian branch of Football Fans Against Homophobia and the FARE network. Kicking racism, homophobia and discrimination out of peoples’ minds is their ambition – on the pitch and in every-day life.
Say it loud, say it clear: Refugees are welcome here!
To point towards the problematic situation of refugees and migrants in Austria, and in order to bring together locals, refugees, migrant organisations and football fans, FreundInnen der Friedhofstribüne decided to organise a charity 5-a-side football tournament. In cooperation with Wiener Sporklub and the refugee organisation Verein Ute Bock, which provides housing, legal aid and basic supplies for refugees and asylum seekers in Austria, the first Ute Bock Cup was held in 2009. From then on, the event has been held each year with increasing popularity and public attention, thereby sending a clear sign that the addressed topics are more important as ever and find growing awareness among people interested in football.As always, 32 teams divided into 4 groups competed for three trophies; the Ute Bock Cup, the Ute Bock Women’s Cup and the Fair Play Cup. The teams are typically mixed teams, with men and women on the team, and are put together with players from migrant organisations, refugees, social workers, football fans, women’s rights activists and many more.While the 5-a-side matches are played, visitors can enjoy a variety of entertainment with DJ lines during the competition and concerts in the breaks, food and drinks, a kiddie corner and the After-Cup-Party at the club home The Flag. Like in the years before popular local and international acts were on stage, supporting this year’s motto: Say it loud, say it clear: Refugees are welcome here! And as always, all earnings and donations are forwarded to the refugee organisation of Ute Bock.