The weekend of May 26th-27th marks the seventh Antiracist Football Tournament of FC St. Pauli in Hamburg, Germany. Along with the Anti-Racist World Cup held in Ireland it is the biggest sporting event of its kind. Held every two years in is an opportunity for sports loving radicals from all over Europe to meet together, cement relations have a party and play some football and promote the idea of anti-racist activities in grassroots sport.
Started in 2004 its stated aim was to produce a committed anti-racist network in politically engaged footballing communities. Teams from Leeds, Glasgow and Bristol attended the very first tournament which featured 32 grassroots clubs from mostly Germany cities but also elsewhere in northern Europe. Exclusively organised by radicals on a volunteer basis the tournament has grown to gain an international reputation for its direct approach in addressing fascism and racism, and not only on the terraces.
In the past the weekend fixture has included many discussions and workshops on anti-fascism as both a strategy and an ideology, along with nationalism and football, women and football and homophobia in football. The emphasis though is on celebrating people coming together and as ever there are no referees to taint the antiauthoritarian edge.
The last tornament organised in 2010 saw the mighty Easton Cowgirls and Cowboys take away the winner’s trophy in the 7 aside game and they are already preparing themselves to retain the title.