Despite FIFA’S campaign to ensure fair play is maintained in the sport, the ugly face of racism still rears itself over and over again. FIFA president Sepp Blatter who had earlier stated that racism between players should be settled by a handshake, reiterated that his comments were taken out of context.
What was once considered a fan issue has grown into a big problem that is seeing even players get caught up in this social evil. In fact, in some clubs things are so bad that team players only associate with those they feel ‘comfortable’ with.
Bring clarity to his statements, this hiss what Blatter had to say:
“My comments have been misunderstood. What I wanted to express is that, as football players, during a match, you have “battles” with your opponents, and sometimes things are done which are wrong.
But, normally, at the end of the match, you apologise to your opponent if you had a confrontation during the match, you shake hands, and when the game is over, it is over. Anyone who has played a football match, or a match in any sport, knows that this is the case.
Truth is racism amongst players can be controlled and even stopped, however, the people FIFA should really be worried about are the fans. No one can forget the ugly scenes that almost saw Eto’o walk out on a Primera Division fixture against Mallorca in 2006.
Or most recently the monkey chants and banana throwing Brazilian great Roberto Carlos endured during a Russian premier league fixture. Such scenes no matter how rare create lasting memories.
Many people have said this, but it worth mentioning again. Unless offenders are punished harshly, then you can be sure that racism will forever be a part of the game. It does not help to hand out fine on wages or ban fans from the stadium as this does not help. Stronger action is needed not only to those immediately involved but also to third party players like the clubs .
Blatter finished by stating that he was very committed to kicking out racism from the sport.
“Having said that, I want to stress again that I do not want to diminish the dimension of the problem of racism in society and in sport. I am committed to fighting this plague and kicking it out of football.”
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