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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 April, 2004, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Footballers speak out over racism
Arsenal's Thierry Henry (left)
Thierry Henry (left) speaks on the plight of asylum seekers
Some of the UK's best-known footballers are featured in an anti-racism video being distributed to schools.

In it, stars like Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and England goalkeeper David James highlight the problems faced by asylum seekers.

The video, entitled A Safe Place, has been produced by the charity Show Racism the Red Card.

It comes amid fears that racist organisations are attempting to encourage schoolchildren to join them.

Overcoming stereotypes

Portsmouth goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, who also appears in the video, said: "It's a small world we live in, and it's getting smaller. This may frighten some, but not me.

"As a number of far-right elements try to lead us to believe otherwise, as this world becomes smaller, as Great Britain lives up to its name, I think it's an opportunity to rejoice in all that is different, in all that makes us unique, in all that makes us so alike."

Amnesty International and The Refugee Council are supporting the video.

Also featured on it are England coach Sven Goran Eriksson, Portsmouth player Lomana Lua Lua, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigerian striker Shola Ameobi who plays for Newcastle.

The video aims to combat myths and stereotypes about asylum seekers and refugees and is aimed at young people aged 11 to 16 and comes with an education pack for use in class.

Ged Grebby, of Show Racism the Red Card, said: "This is the first time we have done a video to combat racism against asylum seekers and we were delighted with the response we got from professional footballers.

"The video is a strong educational tool and will hopefully reach an audience of millions of people."

Earlier this week, the National Union of Teachers' annual conference heard that the British National Party was recruiting among schoolchildren.

Teachers said racist leaflets were "poisoning the atmosphere in schools".

When such leaflets appeared in schools, the levels of "racial violence" increased, it was added.


SEE ALSO:
Racist leaflets school warning
12 Apr 04  |  Education
Anti-BNP front promises action
03 Feb 04  |  Politics


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