Committee sets out plan to stamp out hate-speech in sport

PACE’s Equality Committee has called for a series of measures to stop hate speech or acts of hate in sport – including requiring all players and athletes to formally commit to abstain from such acts.

In a resolution adopted today based on a report by Goran Beus Richembergh (Croatia, ALDE), the committee urged states to work with sporting organisations to improve the detection and reporting of hate-speech incidents, to raise awareness among fans and players, and to encourage schools to teach values of tolerance and human dignity in the sporting arena.

Among other things, it urged mechanisms for victims to report incidents of hate crime, and the use of technology in sports grounds to identify perpetrators.

Sport had a powerful potential to change mindsets, the committee pointed out, and should be an instrument for promoting and transmitting values such as fair play, mutual respect and tolerance: “There should be no space in sport for prejudice and violence, nor for manipulation of supporters’ sentiments”.

The plenary Assembly is due to debate the report at its forthcoming spring session.