Sport It’s time for football to accept that racism is a football problem

11:05  10 december  2019
11:05  10 december  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

I would walk off pitch if racially abused, even in a final - Wijnaldum

  I would walk off pitch if racially abused, even in a final - Wijnaldum I would walk off pitch if racially abused, even in a final - WijnaldumAmong a series of racist incidents that have tainted European soccer recently, Italian striker Mario Balotelli threatened to walk off the field after receiving alleged abuse from Hellas Verona fans this month.

Racism in association football is the abuse of players, officials, and fans because of their skin colour, nationality, or ethnicity. Some may also be targeted because of their association with an opposing team.

It is time for football to start taking some bold steps. It is not enough to keep playing safe and hoping the problem goes away. Ohuruogu should have taken a minute, remembered that she once missed three drug tests in succession and accepted that , when it comes to doping matters, her voice carries

a crowd of people watching a football ball on a field © Provided by The i

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Are we allowed to say it’s a football problem yet? There was that familiar denial that racism is not football’s problem when a Manchester City supporter was caught on video appearing to make ­monkey gestures towards two Manchester United players, Fred and Jesse ­Lingard, during the derby.

It’s not football’s problem but a problem in wider society, we are told. Repeatedly. Yet why do the two have to be mutually exclusive? Is it not becoming obvious that the two are, in fact, intrinsically linked? Is it not clear that one of the most broadcast areas of society is being used to spread a message of hate?

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How does it actually work? Education is undoubtedly a powerful tool to help change the world, but it ’ s a waste on Furthermore, if racism is your platform for point-scoring, bringing up incidents from rival clubs as though this is all a Why educating racists is a waste of time without clear sign of remorse.

Watching dozens of crazed supporters trying to set fire to a stadium makes you question your love of football .

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It’s only one man, they say, when an act of racism is committed in the stands of football stadiums from non-league to the Premier League, to leagues across Europe and on the international stage.

It’s not the entire football club. It’s not football. But it is football, now. It’s what football has become. What football is now known for.

It's not football

a football player on a field © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is Arsenal's leading scorer (Photo: Getty)

It was one man who threw a banana at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. I was sat on a plane en route to a Champions League away game when I overheard one Tottenham fan telling others that they knew the guy and he insisted he simply threw an object in anger and did not even realise it was a banana. The rest nodded in agreement. Sure. Who even takes a banana to a football match? Did he have to open the lid of his lunchbox first to retrieve it?

Police probe alleged racism towards Utd players

  Police probe alleged racism towards Utd players Man City are working with police to identify an individual after footage appeared to show a supporter allegedly making monkey gestures towards Man United players.Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side secure a 2-1 win at the Etihad but Saturday evening's Premier League match was overshadowed by the alleged incident off the field of play, which is being investigated by the Football Association.

The Football Association will investigate allegations of racism after Manchester United players said they were Anti- racism body Kick It Out says it has been "inundated" with reports of alleged racist abuse after the It is a big negative in the sport and the country." With United leading 2-0, a number

When asked whether football needed to do more to tackle racism , Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: "English football was very good at The report also found evidence that homophobia may now be a bigger problem in football than other forms of discrimination. As a result, it called for a

It was one man who racially abused Trent Alexander-Arnold at Old Trafford when Liverpool played there in October.

It was one man on Saturday at the Etihad, making monkey gestures he later claimed were his attempts to put his hands into his pants.

It was one man Chelsea eventually banned for life for using “racially abusive language and threatening and aggressive behaviour” towards Raheem Sterling as he went to get the ball in front of the Matthew Harding Stand when he visited Stamford Bridge with Manchester City a year ago.

Far from an exhaustive list

Heung-Min Son with a football ball on a field © Provided by The i Son Heung-min scores against Burnley (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty)

It was one man – a teenage boy, actually – who was ejected from Tottenham’s stadium on Saturday for allegedly racially abusing Son Heung-min.

Suddenly, all those individual men – plus the boy – start, collectively, to become quite a lot of men. And they are far from an exhaustive list.

Man arrested on suspicion of racism at Manchester derby

  Man arrested on suspicion of racism at Manchester derby MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Police were questioning a man on suspicion of racism on Sunday after a fan was seen directing abuse at Manchester United players during Saturday's Premier League game at Manchester City. The incident happened during the second half of United's 2-1 victory in the Manchester derby. “Police were called to a report of a supporter making alleged racist gestures and sounds towards players during the Manchester City and Manchester United derby,” Greater Manchester Police said in a statement.

Football should show the same determination to root out homophobia that it showed to root out racism over the past few decades. I can’t remember the last time I heard a racist comment at a football match, whereas they were still relatively commonplace when I first started going to matches in the late

All the latest breaking news on Racism in football . There has been a string of racist incidents over the last few months. There is more the beautiful game can do to challenge hate speech.

Then there were the Bulgaria supporters who racially abused England’s players in October, whose behaviour included Nazi salutes and monkey chants. I’m unaware that anyone counted, but that was a lot of individual men, too.

Even so, when a punishment was meted out by Uefa – two behind-closed-doors matches and a fine – the English Football Association took the opportunity to shift the blame on to wider society in its statement in response.

“While we acknowledge Uefa’s ruling today, a huge challenge still exists around racism and discrimination in society,” a spokesman said. “Football has its part to play, and must do so, but it is for all to recognise the seriousness of the problem.”

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To reiterate: it is a societal issue. But it is undoubtedly a football issue, too. It becomes a football issue when the world’s biggest sport is being used as a vehicle to spread the message that people are racist and that’s okay, when it really is not okay. We see the same message in the rhetoric of the country’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. We catch glimpses of it, occasionally, if it happens on a train or a bus and an intrepid member of the public manages to film it.

Arrest made after alleged racist abuse towards Fred and Lingard in Manchester derby

  Arrest made after alleged racist abuse towards Fred and Lingard in Manchester derby Television footage appeared to show a supporter making racist gestures in the direction of Manchester United's Fred and Jesse LingardDuring the second half of United's 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium, the visitors' midfielder Fred appeared to be hit by an object thrown from the crowd as he prepared to take a corner.

'Black Friday', for those who want and can understand it , it was only a way to celebrate diversity. "If you don't understand, it is because you can't Only last week, all 20 Serie A clubs have made a united pledge to combat Italian football ' s "serious problem " with racism because there is no more " time to

It fuels it all the time . And essentially, it ’ s something that ’s got worse in the last three years in this country. Johnson’s dog-whistle racism being challenged more sturdily on Sky Sports Saturday Night Football than in 99% of UK political journalism, this election has been a rollercoaster ride.

In football, it is happening on a near weekly basis, and those are only the incidents captured on camera, or reported, and brought to wider attention.

“There is a contagion,” was the way it was described by Piara Powar, executive director of the Fare network, which campaigns against racism in football, following the incident at the Manchester derby. “This is happening everywhere unquestionably because of a few things. One of those is mimicry – people are seeing others doing it and they think that they can follow and it’s legitimate to do it.

“I think focusing on an individual is a good way to make that individual accountable, but sometimes we need to look wider than that and frame people as a collective.”

To borrow Powar’s analogy, if it is a contagion, football was infected a long time ago and the problem is spreading alarmingly. And that will continue until football accepts it is a football problem and finds an appropriate antidote that works.

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The artist behind Serie A's widely condemned anti-racism campaign centre-piece featuring pictures of monkeys has defended his work.   Simone Fugazzotto was shocked when there was such a huge outcry over his decision to use images of apes. Italian football has been plagued by racist incidents, including monkey chants from the stands this season, but Fugazzotto insisted he never thought it would be 'problematic'.

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