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Soccer needs a little harmony.



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SENATOR JOE LUDWIG

Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate Labor Senator for Queensland

14 March 2005

SOCCER NEEDS A LITTLE HARMONY

Labor has called on next weekend’s Soccer NSW fixtures to incorporate a pre-match Harmony Day ceremony after weekend football violence erupted between two ethnically-based clubs.

“The weekend’s soccer violence between the two clubs was deplorable,” Labor’s Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Joe Ludwig said today.

“Soccer NSW should seriously consider incorporating a ceremony to mark the importance of community harmony into the pre-match entertainment this coming weekend.”

“March 21 is Harmony Day and it is a chance for leaders of the Serbian and Croatian communities in Australia to come together at the weekend and make a statement against the sort of violence we saw on the weekend.”

“Let’s be clear, the vast majority of spectators at the match were doing the right thing. Reports seem to indicate there were only fifty or so people involved, but that is fifty too many.”

“All Australians, whatever their heritage, benefit from a harmonious society that is free of ethnic, religious or culturally-based violence.”

“Football-related violence has no place in this country.”

ENDS. For further information contact: Simon Every 0417 955 182 or 02 6277 3460.