River Plate Football Club Receives 2022 Simon Wiesenthal Award

October 19, 2022

Defensa y Justicia Football Club Trains its Youth Against Racism

Buenos Aires – In mid-2021, the Argentine Professional Football League (LPF), an organization that brings together the Clubs and organizes the highest tournaments, established, together with our Center, to grant the Simon Wiesenthal Award to the team, player or coaching staff that best embodies the values of fight against racism, xenophobia and discrimination.

After being delivered last year to the Club Talleres de Córdoba, in 2022, six more clubs adopted the definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

River Plate Club decided to go further and adopt the Wiesenthal Center's 11-Point Program against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia in Sport. We already began to implement measures aimed at guarding the surroundings of its facilities and avoiding racist graffiti, ensuring equal treatment for members, suppliers and employees

Above all, suspend the seat of the members who take part of racist acts or discriminates during a sports match.

(Vice President Ignacio Villarroel, Dr Gelblung, Member of River Board Ignacio Amui, Member of SWC Board Mariano Klein, Member of River Board Santiago Poblet Videla)

For this reason, the Wiesenthal Center and the LPF presented the award

Vice President, Ignacio Villaroel – brought LPF and the Wiesenthal Center for recognizing our commitment with this award. "Our joint work is just beginning.”

“Years after creation, together with the AFA (Argentinian Football Asociation), global measures were imposed on referees; to suspend football matches, when racist or xenophobic chants are heard from the stands, The price is high when the club  is dropped to the bottem of the League...We proudly took revolutionary steps in the right direction," concluded Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations at the Wiesenthal Center.

Hours later, the Club Defensa y Justicia opened the doors of the institute where young people between 14 and 21 years old live far from their family while training to become professional soccer players.

The Director of the Wiesenthal Center for Latin America, Dr Ariel Gelbung, gave them new measures to defend themselves against discriminatory acts in stadiums and sporting events.

“Racism and discrimination in sport must not only be fought from the stands, but also by empowering the players so that they know that the rules are on their side and that the referees must protect them. We thank Defensa y Justicia for the confidence to be able to build a better sport," concluded Gelblung.

For further information, please contact Dr. Shimon Samuels at +336 09770158 or Dr. Ariel Gelblung at +54 9 11 49695365.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is an international Jewish human rights organization numbering over 400.000 members. It holds consultative status at the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OAS and the Latin American Parliament (PARLATINO

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