RACISM WRANGLE, ROCKING AND DIVIDING THE WORLD OF FOOTBALL.

Filed under: Sports Issues |

The discriminatory and abusive behaviour coming from the white folks against the blacks or Africans has reached a height of no return. There toe-up peddling of the earth with this prejudice that one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races, is tearing the harmony and peace that football once presented to both the players and lovers of the beautiful game.

Racism is a long old habit of the whites, as old as the world in itself, at first it was directed at the blacks but now even the white has turn on themselves. The most current occurrence being in the game between Chelsea and Manchester United at the bridge, on 28 October, 2012, where it was alleged that the referee, Mark Clartenburg, racially abused Chelsea’s trinity of Fernando Torres, Juan Emmanuel Mata and John Mikel Obi. Referring Juan Mata as “Spanish twat”.

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), the Football Supporters Association (FSA) and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) have all launched initiatives in a bid to encourage more people from ethnic minorities to attend matches. Likewise, there has been several campaign around the world aimed at showing solidarity to racially abused people and there families. “Show racism red card” is one, amongst so many others. It is a campaign that uses big footballers to educate against racism.

Most of our African brothers are ambassadors of these program, the likes of Samuel Eto’o, Drogba and Eusebio. I recall Eto’o saying “racism is something created and anything created can be undone” and Eusebio said in one of his “show racism red card” ambassadorial quote, “black or white, we all have football under our skin.”, but these hideous monster called “racism” never goes away, does it?

Oguchi Onyewu, an American of Nigerian descent, has been punched and shouted at by racist fans while playing for standard Liege. He has also had incidence with other players, such as Jelle Van Damme, who according to Onyewu, repeatedly called him a “dirty ape” during the 2008-09 Championship playoff, even after Onyewu relayed the information to the referees. Van Damme denied the accusations following the match, and claimed that Onyewu had called him a “dirty Flemish”. Approximately two weeks later, on June 2, 2009, it was announced by Onyewu’s lawyer that he was suing Van Damme in an effort to end on-field racism in European football.

Arthur Wharton, born in Gold Coast, was the world’s first Black professional footballer, and played as a goalkeeper for Darlington. He was abused and bartered by the fans both on and off the pitch as if they have ear-marked that they, “a send all non-whites away”.

Zola Matumoa left FC Brussels after he accused club chairman Johan Vermeersch of making racist remarks towards him during a crisis meeting at the struggling club. He is reported to have told Matumona to “think about other things than trees and bananas.

In January 2005, as part of an anti-racism initiative in the French league, Paris Saint-Germain’s players wore all-white jerseys and the opposing RC Lens players wore all-black during a French league match. The move backfired as racist elements among PSG’s crowd in the Kop of Boulogne singing “Come on the whites.”, the racist overtone was backed up with monkey chants from the Boulogne crowd when Lens players touch the ball

While even in Africa, Hanif Adams, the owner of Lusaka Dynamos, was subject to racist abuse due to his Indian heritage while running for the Presidency of the Football association of Zambia.

Racism in Germany accelerated after the reunification of Germany; by 1992 neo-Nazi groups in Germany had begun to plan and organise attacks against the local ethnic communities and East European, particularly Turkish, refugees. In 1994, Borussia Dortmund star Julio Cesar threatened to leave the club after he was refused admission to a local nightclub because of his black complexion.

FC St. Pauli fans responded decisively to outbreaks of racism in the German game. With the slogan, Gegen rechts (‘Against the Right’), a combination of fans and students took to the club’s terraces in the 1992 to stand up against politically motivated racism.

On 20 August 2010, Peter Odemwingie, a Soviet-born Nigerian international, joined Premier League team West Bromwich Albion. Shortly after signing for West Brom, photographs showed Lokomotiv Moscow fans celebrated the sale of Odemwingie through the use of racist banners targeted at the player. One banner included the image of a banana and read “Thanks West Brom”.

With all these incisive behaviour and ridiculous comments coming from some set of people who still do not realize that these is a new generation, 21st century at that, who by way of education, civilization and enlightenment are supposed to have outgrown the dirty habit that once drove their ancestors mad and also come to terms with the fact that no one is above the other in spite of any colour or gender.

Can this be blamed on the fact that such people lack the mentality of adventure, which have so prevented them from traveling around the world to see how better other countries are, even in developments and civilization? Or is it a lack of good sight or vision and the brain to interpret what they see? May be it could be lack of a zoo in there location where they can see monkeys and realize that it does not in anyway look like a human.

England is the only country right now making effort no matter how little it is, in taming this monster threatening to destroy the game and the people. Players are now coming together to decide on what action to take when racially abused, some have suggested that the abused player walk of the pitch and other players will follow suit in support of their player, invariably abandoning the game. Even managers of club sides has lend there support to that effect, Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager said “i will not blame any of my player who decides to walk out of the pitch in middle of the game, when racially abused”.

Something serious and drastic action have to be done in a bid to completely eradicate this problem otherwise footballers, lovers of football and other games should be ready to wake up someday to a world free with the beautiful game because it is getting to its peak and one day people will turn against people and thousands will die in the process.

It is time for FIFA and UEFA to stamp there feet on this racism and fight it to a logical conclusion.

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