Speaking at the event today at Parliament Buildings, Anna Lo said: ” In the past few weeks we have seen Northern Irish politics moving towards a brighter future. Football in Northern Ireland is also in the ascendancy. Our team is doing brilliantly – we have a great chance of qualifying for the forthcoming European Championships next Summer, and local football – through this initiative – has a golden opportunity to attract more and more supporters from all backgrounds onto the terraces.
“Community relations really is an open goal for local football – the more people from all backgrounds that we can attract to matches, the more money that will be generated for local clubs and for grassroots football development throughout the community.
“Alliance has campaigned for more than five years to see the introduction of legislation similar to the Football Offences Act in England – to ensure that all forms of prejudice can be banished from the terraces for good. We will be keeping the pressure on the Executive to ensure that such legislation is enacted as a matter of urgency.
“We are also extremely pleased that this event is helping to further enhance progress towards creating a genuinely shared future in Northern Ireland – something which Alliance has long espoused and supported.
“Its great that today’s proceedings highlight the importance of eliminating racism and sectarianism from football. Sport is a vitally important area which can bring people together and help eradicate prejudice.”