Have we not learnt from past incidents? I can’t express how disappointed and angry I am to learn that racial prejudice and racial abuse is still a major issue in today’s game. The most recent incident of this disgusting act was when Manchester City played CSKA Moscow in the Champions League and City beat the Russian champions 2-1 after coming from behind, Sergio Aguero providing both the equalizer and the match winner. This impressive comeback was overshadowed by the fact that City midfielder and Ivorian international Yaya Toure was subjected to racist chants and monkey taunts during the match, but Toure carried on with that match despite having these idiotic things being said to him. Last season we had John Terry allegedly calling ex QPR defender Anton Ferdinand a “F******* black c***” The Chelsea captain was banned for 4 matches and given a hefty fine of £220,000 after a court hearing that went on for 4 days before the final verdict. The season before last we had Liverpool striker Luis Saurez have an argument with Patrice Evra due to Saurez racially aggravating the United full-back, this apparently how the conversation happened;
PE: Fu***** hell, why did you kick me?
LS: Because you’re black.
PE: Say it to me again, I’m going to kick you.
LS: I don’t speak to blacks.
PE: OK, now I think I’m going to punch you.
LS: OK, blackie, blackie, blackie.
As referee Andre Marriner stops play, Luis Saurez then proceeds to call the Frenchman a ‘negro’ prompting an angry reaction from Evra who then tells Marriner that he’s been racially abused. The Uruguayan was served with a 8 match ban and a £40,000 fine.
Now why this happens is beyond me. For one, we are in the 21st century and we have made major steps towards racial equality through people like Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X, who spent their lives trying to give coloured people equal rights and for them to be seen as the same as white people in society. In football, some of the game’s greats have been coloured such as Pele, Thierry Henry and Didier Drogba. Black players have had such a huge impact in football throughout the past 80 years or so that now we don’t realise what they have done to change the game for the better. The most successful African player Samuel Eto’o who has 19 club and country honours and 24 individual honours to his name, has had more than his fair share of racial abuse towards him. Whilst playing for Barcelona, Eto’o received racial abuse from the crowd when playing in away matches and he often threatened to stop playing and walk off the pitch. During a match against Real Zaragoza Eto’o tried to leave the pitch but his team mates intervened and convinced him to carry on with the match. the fact that a player who has achieved so much in his career and one of the most respected footballers in the game was subjected to such slurs disgusts me. Another player who has had constant racial abuse towards him is Ghanian international Kevin-Prince Boateng. He has been to FIFA directly numerous times to try to stop racist abuse in football as he walked off the pitch after being abused from the crowd in a friendly match with 4th tier club Pro Patria.
After the incident in Moscow, Yaya Toure said that if the racist abuse doesn’t stop in Russia black players will not participate in the world cup, essentially boycotting the world cup. Now this sent the social medias into a frenzy. Should black players actually carry this out? If this boycott did actually happen next year, it would definitely show the world that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated and give FIFA and UEFA some sleepless nights as to how they could let this happen with at least a 6 months notice without trying to stop the boycott or resolve the problem in a different approach. For black players, their absence would truly ruin the world cup as not only African players would not attend, players from other countries with African or Caribbean decent may choose to join in on the boycott and this could leave countries without full squads which could result in the whole cup even being called off. It would also show the importance of black players in world football and could make these idiotic people who promote racism in football look even more ignorant and stupid then they are. But this boycott could have a negative effect and backfire on Yaya Toure. If this does happen, the racist population will use the boycott as an act of cowardice and weakness shown by black players thus making them ‘inferior’ to white players. The racist population would thrive on this and it could have a hugely negative effect on football. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho also had his say on the matter. He stated that he disagrees with Yaya Toure’s way to tackle the racism in Russia but understands and respects his opinion. Also the Portuguese claimed that black players were so integral to the history of the game that to hold a World Cup without them would be unthinkable. In my opinion, black players shouldn’t boycott the world cup as surely there is a better way to tackle this inexcusable behaviour without having to going to such extremes as a boycott to such a big event. Make sure you vote in the poll below and comment your opinion about this major issue in world football today.