Austrian Football Association adopts IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

The Austrian Football Association (OFB) and the Austrian Football League formally adopted the International Alliance for Holocaust Remembrance’s working definition of anti-Semitism on Thursday during a ceremony on Judenplatz in the capital Vienna.

The document was signed by the main bodies representing Austrian football at a ceremony attended by Austrian Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler, EU and Constitution Minister Karoline Edtstadler, ÖFB President Gerhard Milletich and President of the Jewish community of Vienna, Oskar Deutsch.

Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Nachman Shai, and the President of the Israel Football Association, Oren Hasson, were also present at the event.

The signing of the working definition took place before a World Cup qualifying match between Israel and Austria in Klagenfurth scheduled for Friday.

The IHRA definition of anti-Semitism has been adopted by 29 countries, the EU and numerous governments and local institutions around the world, as a way to clearly define anti-Semitism to precisely control its prevalence.

Soccer / football ball (credit: INGIMAGE)

Milletich said that the association “defends respect, tolerance and integration in all areas of society” and that it seeks to create a culture in which all communities are treated with respect.

“Soccer has a strong integrating power that we use to defend our values ​​and take a decisive stand against anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms,” ​​said Milletich.

Deutsch welcomed the OFB’s move, saying that both the association and the football league had immediately agreed to adopt the IHRA definition at the time they were approached on the issue.

“Due to the reach of soccer and the role of players as role models for many, this adoption is of particular relevance to our fight against anti-Semitism. Together, we will carry out activities with fans and football fans to fight anti-Semitism at all levels. “

Co-sponsoring this step by the Austrian Football Association, the Chelsea FC Foundation together with the Jewish Community of Vienna), the Office of the UK Government’s Independent Advisor on Anti-Semitism Lord John Mann and the International Coalition to Combat Anti-Semitism co-sponsored a one day event. “World Conference on the Role of Soccer in Fighting Anti-Semitism”.

“Four years ago our club owner Roman Abramovich launched Chelsea’s global campaign against anti-Semitism, and while we see the positive effects these efforts have had, we know that more needs to be done,” said Bruce Buck, Chairman of the Chelsea FC.

On the other hand, the European Commission coordinator on the fight against anti-Semitism and the promotion of Jewish life, Katharina von Schnurbein, received the Marietta und Friedrich Torberg-Medaille prize, the highest honor of the Jewish community of Vienna for her job.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity and all the necessary tools from the European Commission for this work and I share this award with all those who have supported me,” he said.

“The newly adopted [EU] The Strategy on Anti-Semitism is our commitment to a safe society for all Jewish citizens, in Europe and beyond, and I look forward to cooperating with Member States, the Jewish community and civil society organizations for its implementation. Europe can only prosper when the Jewish community also prospers. “

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