If you have been reading around the footballing world the past few days (actually years), you have probably realized that racism is an unfortunately frequent occurrence in the modern game. From accusations of racism, to fights sparked by racism, to fans chanting racism, we have read about it again, again, and again.
The Cesc Fabregas vs Kanoute incident is a recent example. To be put simply, Kanoute accused Fabregas of calling him a racist insult, and so he hit him, provoking a red card from the ref. After the match, Fabregas maintained that his “conscious was clear”. If the incident passes and Fabregas was guilty, another incident of racism goes unpunished. But if Fabregas did not say a racist remark, then regardless of his innocence, this incident goes on his reputation.
So how severely should accusations of racism be taken? And how much should FIFA and the league governing bodies be involved?
“Players should draw attention to the issue on and off the pitch and the refs should also be acknowledged as part of the problem too. Refs are supposed to protect the players and so they are automatically part of the problem. FIFA should be greatly involved to protect the sport and the players. Reputation is at stake here.”
-Mustafa, Egypt, Barcelona
“Racism is a very major issue that needs to be taken care of immediately, especially in Italy and Spain. Supporters of Serie A and La Liga should use English fans as an example of how to treat the players, and more importantly, each other. I strongly support that FIFA should be involved and help stamp out racism across the globe.”
-Mohamed, Egypt, Chelsea
“Racism is affecting the way we live our lives. It has become an issue and it’s forcing people to ashamed of who they are. [Racism] should not be tolerated in sport.”
Racism is becoming a major issue in football and players should draw attention on and off the pitch. Just yesterday, Drogba was being called names not suitable to say. FIFA and league governing bodies must speak of this issue, for sure, no question, and players, coaches, as well as people involved in FIFA should be punished harshly for racist remarks.”
-Omar, Egypt, Real Madrid
Thankfully, we here in this compound are somewhat isolated from the issue. People different from us is something we are used to, and an anti-racism stance is unquestionable. In fact, on paper, an anti-racism stance is unquestionable to all of us.
But still, repeatedly, such incidents occur. So if you ever have the utmost pleasure of watching a match live and see a group of people shouting racism down at the players, step up and tell them to stop. Because at the base of every sport is its fans and if the crowd is shouting down racism, why should the players below be expected to do anything different? Even if you are sitting with a group of friends, and a player from a team you support has said a racist remark, don’t try and defend or support them in any way. Tweet, post, talk, or anything to spread that although you support said player but you do not support his actions. The footballers play to gain the support of the crowd, and if they do not have that support the majority will stop. Media does have a lot of power guys. And as this sport expands through every country and scouts broaden their horizons, hopefully we will see an improvement, and not the opposite.