Racism: An Enemy of Football, Evra and Suarez & Prince Boateng
Football is a game that is played for pleasure, passion and the love for the game in its early days. The game has turned into a business where people take football as a profession and business men invest millions of dollars to lure people around the world to play for them. Europe is known to be the continent where such business begun and still growing at a faster rate, people therefore move all over the world to play in Europe.
Kevin Prince Boateng: a recent victim of racism
Footballers all over the world from Africa, Asia, South America and the North America will leave their homes to play in Europe for greener pastures and play in the competitive league like the UEFA Champions league, English league, Spanish league and the others. South America is known to be the continent that produces the best of talents with Brazil and Argentina dominating the continent as well as the world. The world best player award since its inception in the early 90’s was dominated by South Americans like Ronaldo (3 times), Romario (1), Rivaldo (1), Ronaldinho (2), Messi (3), and Kaka (1). Africa has won it once by the George Wear in 1995 and since then African players made great contribution in European football through the likes of Eto’o, Drogba, Essien, Okocha, Abedi and so on.
Racism comes as a result of abuse of a player, fan or official because of their skin color, religion, nationality or ethnicity. Racism is all over the world but Europe experience a greater percentage and countries like Spain, England, France, Germany, Italy and Russia are most experience. The victims of such a disgraceful act are mostly Africans and black player due to their skin color and yet no specific punishment for such criminal act. Monkey gestures are made from fans as well as players and banana peels are also thrown at players all in a way of expressing racism.
Evra and Suarez
Former UN general secretary, Dr. Kofi Anan once said; “ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will and must be defeated.”
Most victims of racism are mostly Africans and a few from the South America. Samuel Eto’o threatened to leave the field after he was racially abused by Zaragoza fans. Mario Balotelli was also victimized by Juventus fans during his time at Inter Milan. Former Brazilian international, Roberto Carlos was also abused when banana peels were thrown at him in Russian.The most recent victim of such a disgraceful act is AC Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng while playing a friendly game against a fourth division side Pro Patria. The German born and former Ghanaian international led his side off the field after he was racially abused, but the question is that the solution to racism?
In England, Luis Suarez was giving a 12 match ban when he abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and refuses to shake hands with him in another Manchester-Liverpool encounter. Chelsea skipper John Terry was handed a 4 match ban by the FA after he was found not guilty by the Supreme Court by racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand which also sparkled another between Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole. The incident caused handshake to be called off between Chelsea and QPR in an FA cup tie.
Until FIFA comes out with a specific punishment, racism will continue to become an enemy of football. Players and fans will use this as a platform to promote violence in football, so let all say no to racism for the beautiful game.