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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 10:05 GMT
Youth 'key' to tackling racism
Celitc's Ulrik Laursen and Yannick Zambernardi of Hibernian
SPL players helped launch the campaign at Hampden Park
A development officer given the task of tackling racism in Scottish football has vowed to win the hearts of minds of children.

Roddy McNulty, who will work in schools and clubs to tackle the problem, said educating children was crucial to his chances of success.

A number of top Scottish footballers offered their support for the Show Racism the Red Card campaign on Monday.

The charity has the backing of the Scottish Football Association, which has secured funding from Uefa and the Scottish Executive.

Mr McNulty believes that the key to tackling racism is through education and he intends to visit as many Scottish schools as possible.

'Role models'

He said the problem was not restricted to football, but that using professional footballers as anti-racist role models was the best way to get the message across.

Representatives of Show Racism the Red Card, the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Executive took part in Monday's launch.

Scotland coach Bertie Vogts also attended the event at Hampden Stadium in Glasgow.

He was joined by Celtic's Ulrik Laursen, Hibernian's Yannick Zambernardi and Rangers' Ronald de Boer among others.

Roddy McNulty
Roddy McNulty believes education is the key in tackling racism

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, Mr McNulty said: "I think the vast majority of people who go to matches know that there is a problem.

"But this initiative is not only about stamping out racism in Scottish football, it's also about tackling racism in Scottish society.

"We will be using the vehicle of Scottish football to tackle racism both in football and in Scottish society.

"Using football is a great way to get the message across to all children who see footballers as role models."

SFA chief executive David Taylor said he hoped the move would help to change attitudes.

Mr Taylor said: "This new appointment will help us to keep up the pressure on racism in Scotland, particularly to tackle the problem of supporters who racially abuse players from opposing teams or rival supporters."

Deputy Communities Minister Mary Mulligan said racism must not be tolerated and no-one should suffer because of their race, nationality or beliefs.

BBC Scotland's Gavin Walker
"It is hoped the initiative will change the sport for the better"

Roddy McNulty, development officer
"We will be using the vehicle of Scottish football to tackle racism"

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