‘Kick Racism out of Football’ is one of the longest running campaigns supported across the game, with thousands of players, coaches and fans taking part in events throughout the many seasons. And yet in the last couple of weeks, a few high profile incidents have occurred that have made us all question the state of the multi-billion pound industry, that so many of us follow religiously. Three key incidents come to the forefront, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen at a lower level of the game, levels further away from the attentions of the media and public view, which aren’t so protected.
It has concerned me as a fan of the ‘beautiful’ game that it is becoming too easy for people to use racism, whether against a person, or to falsely accuse someone. Surely it is time, well into a twenty-first century that sees the world globalised and interchanging, that race, class, background etc. should not affect a persons opinion of on another, and the consequence of such an action should result in the privileges of playing the sport being removed, permanently. As most top-level footballers today are the inspiration and passion behind a struggling nations people, and children, a show of lack of respect for another professional and human being, should result in the severest of punishments, as it would in any other working environment.
The simple fact that all this has come to light at such a high level, involving multi-million pound players, captains (or former captains) of their clubs and countries, shows that racism is still a major problem, and not something that a campaign, or two, will stop. We need to now, on all levels, surly, consider racism as footballs curse, its demon, its final and most painful, foul.
Below, is an advert from 1996 featuring Eric Cantona and Les Ferdinand. Two footballers that suffered abuse from football supporters. There’s no place for it.
Author: Chris Hames