Borussia Dortmund have struggled over the years with right-wing elements among their fanbase. The so-called Borussen Front was once one of the most feared right-wing supporter groups within German football. But the club have done a lot to rid themselves of these factions.
For example, BVB reportedly donated €1 million to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Israel in April. Furthermore, hundreds of supporters have visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau site, where more than one million Jews were killed between 1940 and 1945.
Dortmund have also made it clear to the fans visiting Signal Iduna Park that “racism, discrimination and antisemitism are not welcome here”.
And now UEFA has honoured Dortmund’s commitment to such initiatives with the #EqualGame award, writing in a press release:
Borussia Dortmund will receive their #EqualGame Award for their tireless long-term work in, among others, tackling far-right infiltration of their fan base, challenging everyday racism, and adopting a clear policy on the humanitarian rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.
Give it up for our 2019 #EqualGame award winners 👏
🥇 @BVB for their tireless fight against the far right 👊
🥇Scott Cunliffe for running to every @BurnleyOfficial away game, raising more than €60,000 for charity 🏃♂️
True role models 👏 pic.twitter.com/8CaAWhIXDu
— UEFA (@UEFA) August 28, 2019
Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke was delighted about winning the award, telling uefa.com:
“Borussia Dortmund feel that social engagement is extremely important. We are delighted that this engagement has been recognised with this prestigious UEFA award.”
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin echoed Watzke’s sentiments, saying:
“Borussia Dortmund can be justifiably proud of their outstanding work to challenge far-right attitudes and actions, conveying the clear message that racism, intolerance and discrimination have no place in football. The club has set an important example for other clubs throughout Europe to follow.”
#EqualGame was launched at the start of the 2017/18 season. According to UEFA, the campaign seeks to champion the incredible and often inspiring diversity of football in Europe. Dortmund CEO Watzke will receive the award during today’s Champions League draw.
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