Racism in sports has been the long-term concern of sport governing bodies especially UEFA. The European football governing body keeps placing orders and guidelines every season to curtail the menace among players, fans and sister associations. Every other year, the association trains coaches, fans and players to accept racial differences among all parties involved but racial profiling still continues despite all passive efforts to stop this.
The new football season could have brought excitement to the fans and players, but the cloud of uncertainty that surrounded Ligue 1 holds resentment to officials and executives of the league after the clash between PSG and Olympique Marseille that resulted in 12 yellow cards and 5 red cards. PSG might have lost that game by a goal to nil but the circumstance leading to the fight between home and opposition will live in the eyes of fans all over the world.
The sending off of Neymar raised eyebrows as Marseille’s centre defender Alvaro Gonzalez was fingered out as the perpetrator of that brawl. Neymar reported to the assistant referee on his side of the dugout. This event proves that even Southern Americans are irresistible to racial slurs. No other race has suffered racism more than Africans in football. Taking a knee and flying #BlackLivesMatter is not enough as over the years, racism in Italy, England, France and Spain has escalated in major football countries. Here are some players who have been racially abused in the past:
As one of Africa’s most decorated footballers, the former Cameroonian striker was the target of white fans during his stint at Barcelona C.F., Spain. His horrible experience at Spain only stopped after Barca’s swap deal with Inter Milan for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Eto’o went on to win the UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan.
The talented Italian might have had awful moments with press and managers but having bananas thrown at him by opposition fans in Italy is the worst he could have been subjected to in a turbulent career.
The Ghanaian midfielder did not gain enough support during his experience when his Pescara teammates beckoned on him to return to the pitch after opposition fans lashed racial slurs at him. The nightmare continued when he got banned for reporting the case despite investigations from post-match videos.
The heavily-built British-Nigerian footballer was called ‘BEAST’ by opposition fans last season when he lined up for Wycombe Wanderers FC in England’s lower ties. The incident did not sit well with him as he gained interviews and media features after his experience with racism.
This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace