Saturday July 13, 2024

Euro 2024 to act as human rights 'driving force' - declaration

Published : 16 Nov 2023, 02:16

  By Basil Wegener and Christoph Lother, dpa
Hubertus Heil (L), German Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, and Nancy Faeser, Minister of the Interior and for Home Affairs, hold the human rights declaration for UEFA EURO 2024 on Tuesday. Photo: Hannes P. Albert/dpa.

German politicians and football officials from Europe's UEFA, the German body DFB, local organizers and host cities on Tuesday signed a Declaration of Human Rights for the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.

"It is our intention that UEFA Euro 2024 will build bridges both on and off the pitch, and act as a driving force for respecting, protecting and promoting human rights globally especially in times of war, terror and global tensions," it said.

"We want UEFA Euro 2024 to be an event where intolerance, hatred and agitation have no place."

Along with football officials, the declaration was signed in Berlin by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Labour Minister Hubertus Heil.

Faeser said that labour laws such as minimum wages must be guaranteed in all aspects of the tournament and that any kind of discrimination, including racism and anti-Semitism in fan zones, must be persecuted.

"We want to experience a tournament that stands for democracy, respect, tolerance and respecting human rights," Faeser said.

Heil said: "A fair European championships doesn't only mean that 22 players should interact respectfully on the pitch. Fair play must also apply for all people who are participating around the world to ensure that this tournament is a big celebration of football."

"We want to set standards together in Germany," he added.

Euro 2024 takes place June 14-July 14 in 10 German cities, with 24 teams participating and fans from around the world to attend.

Tournament director Philipp Lahm had on Monday expressed hope that the Euros can "create more cohesion again - in Germany and in Europe."

There are currently "many huge challenges around the world", Lahm told a news conference, citing the Israel conflict and the Russian war with Ukraine as examples.

The tournament offered the opportunity to present western values, Lahm said. "Democracy, freedom, security and community" are important.

Major events such as the European football championship should be used to "come together and spark a sense of unity", the former Germany captain and 2014 World Cup winner said.

Lahm said he has high hopes German fans would be excited about the upcoming tournament now that the home team appears to be back on track after some poor results and a 2022 World Cup group stage exit.

Germany's 2-1 victory over France in September under interim coach Rudi Völler showed "how quickly such enthusiasm can be reawakened."

The trend has continued under new coach Julian Nagelsmann who led the team to a 3-1 win against the United States and 2-2 with Mexico.

"When I look at the last two international matches, I can already see that we're back on the right track," Lahm said, adding that Nagelsmann exudes "a lot of energy."