On July 11-12, the first edition of the Montreal Antiracist Football Tournament took place in which over 100 people participated, both in and out the field. Inspired by global initiatives such as Mondiali Antirazzisti and Anti-cup, and counting on members of Front Commun Montreal, a group was formed to organize this tournament.
The purpose of this tournament was to put forward a critique of institutional racism that exists here as elsewhere in the policies of austerity, the colonial laws, reforms on immigration and xenophobic values. In addition, the excesses of football-business and sports capitalism impacts on the Brazilian population were also explained through leaflets, press releases, newspapers like Rocks, Paper, Matches, banners and projection.
With these critics in mind, the Montreal Antiracist Football Tournament wanted to use football as a social space for people from different backgrounds (homeless, students, aboriginal, immigrant without status , workers, etc.) in order to have a forum on and off the pitch about their experiences and struggles. This initiative also intends to politicize sports as a mean to promote the fight against fascism.
On the playground, participants were encouraged to develop self-organization, self-management and fair play practices, as there were observers of sportsmanship during games. In addition, participating teams had to be gender-mixed, a way to denounce the fact that sexism is part of the game, while avoiding any participation only based on gender.
This antiracist tournament ended with a community dinner and a music show of the band Shadow Hunters that allowed everyone to live and share moments of exchange and solidarity. Thus, even if ephemeral for now, a space was created where people of different backgrounds have been out of their everyday context to meet and organize around common values. We have to put forward values promoted by this event such as anti-racism, anti-fascism, anti-sexism, anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism. Positive proposals, such as cooperation, reciprocity, the promotion of popular sport and collective property are also needed to fend-off anti-social movements.