Racism in association football

Racism in association football

Racism in association football is still a major problem in some parts of the world, particularly in Italy, Spain, and Eastern Europe, although it is a world-wide concern. Racism isn't directed at players simply because of their skin colour; players are also targeted because of their nationality, religion or ethnicity. Some players may be targeted by football supporters more because they play for an opposing team rather than their appearance/heritage. However, some players have been targeted by their own fans, such as John Barnes.cite web |url=http://www.le.ac.uk/so/css/resources/factsheets/fs6.html |title=Fact Sheet 6: Racism and Football |accessdate=2008-02-17 |publisher=University of Leicester]



Hanif Adams, the owner of Lusaka Dynamos, was subject to racist abuse while running for the Presidency of the Football Association of Zambia. [cite news |first=Kennedy |last=Gondwe |title=Faz presidency marred by racial abuse |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7262763.stm |work=BBC Sport |date=2008-02-25 |accessdate=2008-08-05]



Oguchi Onyewu, an American of Nigerian descent, has been punched and shouted at by racist fans while playing for Standard Liege.cite news |url=http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/worldcup/2006-06-01-intolerance-cup_x.htm |title=Concerns raised over racism during Cup |accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2006-02-06 |first=Kelly |last=Whiteside |work=USA Today]

Zola Matumona 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." [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/7076565.stm |title=Matumona quits club over racism |accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2007-11-03 |work=BBC Sport]


On 18 April 2007, Lyon player Milan Baroš was accused of racially abusing Rennes' Stéphane M'Bia by implying that M'Bia smelled. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/6573067.stm |title=Baros in racism row over Mbia |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2007-04-20 |work=BBC Sport] On 4 May 2007 Baros was found guilty of the gesture, but found not guilty of racism, and was banned for three league matches. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/6623671.stm |title=Baros banned for Mbia incident |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2007-05-04 |work=BBC Sport]

On 17 September 2007, Libourne's Burkinabe player Boubacar Kébé was abused by fans of Bastia; he was red-carded for retaliating. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6998552.stm |title=Kebe in racist abuse claim|accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2007-09-17 |work=BBC Sport] In February 2008, Bastia was again at the centre of controversy when their fans unfurled a racist banner, again aimed at Kébé, which delayed the kick-off of the match by three minutes. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7260682.stm |title=Bastia face sanctions for racism |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2008-02-23 |work=BBC Sport]

On 17 February 2008, Abdeslam Ouaddou of Valenciennes was racially abused by a fan from opponents Metz; Metz and the French league announced that they would be suing the fan in question. The match referee did not see the incident, and so booked Ouaddou for challenging the fan. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7249413.stm |title=Referee unaware of Ouaddou abuse |accessdate=2008-02-21 |date=2008-08-05 |work=BBC Sport] Valenciennes chairman Francis Decourriere later demanded that the match be replayed, "in front of children from Valenciennes and Metz." [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7255470.stm |title=Racism row club wants replay |accessdate=2008-02-21 |date=2008-08-05 |work=BBC Sport] Following this incident, the French Football Federation made steps to introduce harsher punishments. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7268977.stm |title=French officials to combat racism |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2008-02-28 |work=BBC Sport]

In March 2008, Bastia's Frédéric Mendy claimed he had been racially abused by Grenoble's fans. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7274052.stm |title=Mendy in racist abuse claim |accessdate=2008-03-01 |date=2008-08-05 |work=BBC Sport]


Racism in Germany accelerated after the reunification of Germany; by 1992 neo-Nazi groups in Germany had begun to use football matches as occasions to plan and organise attacks against local ethnic communities and East European, particularly Turkish, refugees.

In 1994, Borussia Dortmund star Júlio César 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 1992 to stand up against politically motivated racism. In December 1992, all the teams in the German League followed the St Pauli lead and, over one weekend, all players played in shirts displaying the slogan "Mein Freund ist Ausländer" ('My friend is a Foreigner'). The German Sports Youth's 1995 "No Chance for Hatred" campaign has promoted activities against racism and xenophobia on a national scale, encouraging local clubs to participate. Unfortunately, this campaign has not spurred German football authorities into further action. Merkel (1996) reports that they vehemently refuse to acknowledge that racism is a major problem, and dismiss racist abuses as isolated incidents which have nothing to do with the sport. Most of their measures are concerned with law and order - cutting down violence at matches - but anti-racist action is very sparse. Anti-racist initiatives are designed to create positive publicity but generally consist of little more than token gestures, such as rock concerts and short term advertising campaigns.

Racism in German football is much more subtle than in other parts of Europe; monkey chants have been replaced with codes, such as the number "88", which stands for 'HH' or 'Heil Hitler' ('H' is the eighth letter of the alphabet in German and English). Some teams, for example Hannover 96, have banned such symbols from their stadiums. [cite news |url=http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,799673,00.html |title=Fighting Racism in the Soccer Stadium |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2003-03-06 |work=Deutsche Welle |first=Andreas |last=Tzortzis]

On 25 March 2006, in a match between FC Sachsen Leipzig and Hallescher FC, Leipzig's Nigerian midfielder Adebowale Ogungbure was spat at and called 'Nigger' and 'ape' by opposition fans, who later aimed monkey noises at him. In retaliation he placed two fingers above his mouth and saluted at the crowd - an obvious reference to Adolf Hitler. Ogungbure was arrested by German police, as it is illegal to make Nazi gestures for political or abusive purposes, but criminal proceedings were dropped 24 hours later.cite news |url=http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,409517,00.html |title=Player Silences German Racists With Hitler Salute |accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2006-04-03 |work=Der Spiegel |first=Eva |last=Lodde |coauthors=Mike Glindmeier and Jens Todt]

In April 2006, in a match between St. Pauli and Chemnitzer FC, visiting Chemnitz fans stormed Turkish-owned stores chanting "Sieg Heil" and waving imitation Nazi flags. Some shouted: "We're going to build a subway from St Pauli to Auschwitz".

Ghana-born German international striker Gerald Asamoah has frequently been the target of racist abuse. On 10 September 2006 Hansa Rostock were investigated for racist abuse in a friendly game [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/5332318.stm |title=Asamoah targeted by racist taunts |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2006-09-10 |work=BBC Sport] and were subsequently found guilty and fined $25,000 US Dollars. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/5345382.stm |title=Rostock fined for Asamoah abuse |accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2006-09-14 |work=BBC Sport]

On 19 August 2007 it was announced that Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller would be investigated by the German Football Association (DFB) after apparently calling Asamoah a 'black pig'. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6954005.stm |title=Asamoah in racist abuse claim |accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2007-08-19 |work=BBC Sport]

On 4 February 2007 a racist German football fan was apprehended by fellow fans during a match between Energie Cottbus and VfL Bochum, and faces a lifetime ban.cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6329959.stm |title=German fans single out 'racist' |accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2007-02-04 |work=BBC Sport]

Racist chants in Cottbus are said to be commonplace.


Israeli stadiums are not free from racism, and first racist incidents there took place in the 1970s, when Arab player Jimmy Turk joined Hapoel Tel Aviv. Turk was subjected to anti-Arab abuse during nearly every game he played.cite news |title=England and Israel join for anti-racism football campaign |url=http://www.ejpress.org/article/in_depth/world_cup/6624 |publisher=European Jewish Press |date=2006-03-07 |accessdate=2008-08-05] According to Itzik Shanan, director of communications at the New Israel Fund, among most racist fans are supporters of Betar Jerusalem, also Hapoel Tel Aviv fans have been using slogans promoting a Holocaust against Maccabi Tel Aviv. [cite news |first=Matt |last=Zalen |title=Israel joins fight against soccer racism |url=http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1161811247484&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull |work=The Jerusalem Post |date=2006-11-01 |accessdate=2008-08-05] Israeli right wing football supporters taunt Arab players during games, especially those who play for the mixed Arab-Jewish team Bnei Sakhnin. The behavior of Israeli football fans reflects racism through society, among most popular chants in Israeli stadiums there is "Death to Arabs". [cite web |url=http://www.newisraelfund.org.uk/downloads/KRO_2_page_project_summary.pdf |title=Let's Kick Racism Out Of Israeli Football |accessdate=2008-08-05 |publisher=New Israel Fund]


Ronny Rosenthal, playing for Israel's Maccabi Haifa in 1989, was subjected to anti-Semitic taunts.cite web |url=http://www.kickitout.org/232.php |title=Racism in European football |accessdate=2008-08-05 |publisher=Kick It Out]

Black footballers playing in the Serie A top flight in 1992-1993 were also racially abused. Two black Dutch players, Ruud Gullit and Aron Winter, have spoken out against such racist taunts. Their complaints spurred a day of action on 13 December 1992, with the slogan "No al razzimo!" (No To Racism) being paraded by all players in the two Italian divisions.

Paul Ince also complained about open abuse during his spell with Inter Milan in Italy between 1995 & 1997.

On November 27, 2005, Marco Zoro attempted to stop the Messina-Inter Milan match by leaving the field with the ball, after being tormented by racist taunts from some Inter supporters. He was eventually convinced to keep playing by other players, notably by Inter's Adriano. These facts then brought strong and unanimous condemnations by the whole football community within Italy, and even a 5 minute delay for an anti-racism display for all the matches to be played in the next week in the country. The actions of the Inter supporters were also brought to the attention of the European football governing body UEFA as well as that of the European Union.


On March 24 2007, in a match between France and Lithuania, a racist banner was unfurled by Lithuanian supporters. Directed against France's black players, it represented a map of Africa, painted with the French flag colors (blue, white and red), with a slogan of "Welcome to Europe". [cite web |url=http://www.farenet.org/default.asp?intPageID=7&intArticleID=1290 |title=Racist banner exhibited at Lithuania-France Euro 2008 qualifier |accessdate=2008-02-17 |date=2007-03-30 |publisher=Football Against Racism in Europe]


In a match between Rangers and FK Zeta, Rangers players DaMarcus Beasley (an African American) and Jean-Claude Darcheville (a black Frenchman) were subjected to racist abuse by FK Zeta players [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/6934106.stm |title=Rangers welcome inquiry by Uefa |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2007-08-08 |work=BBC Sport] and Zeta were later fined £9,000. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/r/rangers/7017762.stm |title=Gers opponents fined over racism |accessdate=2008-08-05 |date=2007-09-28 |work=BBC Sport]


Ajax fans have the tradition of using Jewish and Israeli symbols to express their allegiance. Regularly, the supporters wave large Star of David flags and scream "Joden! Joden!" ("Jews! Jews!") to fire up their team. Die-hard Ajax supporters call themselves "F-Siders" or "Joden" - Dutch for "Jews" - a nickname that reflects the team's and Amsterdam's Jewish roots. The nickname for Ajax fans dates back to before World War II, when Amsterdam was home to many of the Netherlands' 140,000 Jews and the Ajax stadium was located near a Jewish neighborhood. Most Dutch Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and little remains of Amsterdam's old Jewish quarter. But the tradition survived. Ajax currently has no Jewish players, the last player with Jewish roots being Daniël de Ridder.However, opposing supporters are known to use anti-Semitic remarks to express their antipathy towards Ajax. This is expressed in slogans such as "Hamas, hamas, joden aan het gas" (Hamas, Hamas, Jews into the gas) or producing hissing sounds that imitate the flow of gas. This however, does not withhold the 'Jewish' supporters from celebrating the Bombing of Rotterdam by Nazi Germany when facing Feyenoord with songs like "Rotterdam, kankerstad, in de oorlog lag je lekker plat" (Rotterdam, cancer town, in the war they rightly bombed it down!). Songs like this (using the melody of "Tulips from Amsterdam") were sung from the stage, i.e. organised, at the celebration of the winning of the Dutch Cup in 2006.

The hardcore Ajax fans, however, are proud of their outsider image as "Jews" and feel encouraged to show more Israeli/Jewish signs. Jews who support Ajax are split on this matter. Dutch authorities have tried to tone down the Jewish symbols of support for Ajax, hoping to lead to a decrease of anti-Semitic counter-incidents. However, the head of the European Board of Jewish Deputies has signalled his support for the F-siders, noting that anti-Semitism in Europe would be lessened if more non-Jews identified with Jewish culture.

As The Netherlands harboured Jews from Nazi Germany before being overrun in World War II, this carries over to matches involving the national team. [ [http://www.ajax-usa.com/desk/cheeseheads-vs-krauts-30-years-of-enmity.html] ]

In 1991 Fritz Korbach, manager of Heerenveen, was censured by the Dutch footballing authorities for racially abusing his country's black international star, Bryan Roy. During Euro 96, Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids was sent home after complaining that black players were excluded from tactical meetings and had no input into the team, these privileges only being extended to white members of the team. The Netherlands Government pumped €1,200,000 into anti-racist activities in the country in 1991. The Nederlandse Sport Federatie (equivalent to Britain's Sports Council) has been very vocal, organising a conference in 1991 - Kleur Bekennen ('recognising colour') - to raise public awareness of the issue in the country. Belgian authorities have aimed their anti-racism campaign at the grass-roots level, working through local sports clubs to encourage more minority participation.


According to The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism football stadiums in Poland are recruiting ground for extremist organizations (such as antisemitic National Rebirth of Poland) [http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2001-2/poland.htm Antisemitism And Racism ] ] [ [http://www.polityka.pl/archive/do/registry/secure/showArticle?id=3346274 Polityka - Archiwum - Artykuł ] ] . Until a few years ago, Neo-fascist symbols were a common sight there [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/mihirbose/2008/04/polish_footballs_racism_proble_1.html BBC SPORT | Mihir Bose ] ] .

During the Extraordinary Congress of the International Football Federation (FIFA), held in Buenos Aires on 6–7 July 2001, the problem of racism in Polish football was discussed and Polish national football association was called to join the struggle against racism . The problem of antisemitism in Polish football has drawn international criticism. Poland was named as one of the worst offenders, in British MP John Mann report, which describes anti-Semitic incidents in 18 countries across Europe. It was noted that Polish fans routinely call each other 'Jews' as a term of abuse. [ [http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1203847451790&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull] .] In April 2008 ŁKS Łódź player Arkadiusz Mysona wore a shirt which said "Śmierć żydzewskiej kurwie" ("Death to Widzew-Jewish Whore", which is a word play, used by the LKS Lodz supporters, who call fans of their local rivals Jews) after a match in the Polish Ekstraklasa [cite web|url=http://www.sport.pl/pilka/1,79005,5169217.html|title=Śmierć żydzewskiej k.....|accessdate=2008-06-27|date=2008-4-30|publisher=sport.pl] . Mysona said afterwards that the shirt was given to him by a fan and he hadn´t checked it.


Cameroonian player André Bikey suffered racism while playing for Lokomotiv in Moscow. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6567053.stm|title=Bikey embraces English culture|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-04-18|publisher=BBC]

In March 2008, black players of French side Marseille - including André Ayew, Ronald Zubar and Charles Kaboré - were targeted by fans of Zenit Saint Petersburg [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/7294360.stm|title=Marseille to decide on complaint|accessdate=2008-03-13|date=2008-03-13|author=Joachim Barbier|publisher=BBC] ; Zenit fans were later warned by police in Manchester not to repeat their behaviour ahead of the 2008 UEFA Cup Final. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7397379.stm|title=Racism warning for Zenit support|accessdate=2008-05-12|date=2008-05-12|publisher=BBC]


In October 2006, 37 Borac Cacak fans were arrested and eight faced criminal charges after racially abusing the club's Zimbabwean player Mike Temwanjira during a first division match. Several days later, 152 supporters of first division side Rad Belgrade were detained after shouting anti-Muslim slogans during a match against their Novi Pazar rivals. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6053480.stm|title=Arrests over Zimbabwean abuse|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2006-10-16|publisher=BBC] Borac Cacak was at the centre of more controversy in March 2008 when a Ghanaian player, Solomon Opoku, was attacked by fans; six fans were later arrested, with four being later charged. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/7287445.stm|title=Ghanaian injured in racist attack|accessdate=2008-03-10|date=2008-03-10|publisher=BBC]

On 29 November 2006, Hajduk Kula coach Nebojsa Vucicevic insulted Red Star Belgrade's Senegal defender Ibrahima Gueye. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6195486.stm|title=Senegal defender in racism storm|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2006-11-29|publisher=BBC]

An unnamed Serbia U-21 player was accused of racially abusing Justin Hoyte, while Serbian fans also apparently racially abused Nedum Onuoha. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6753585.stm|title=Uefa probes England & Serbia U21 |accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-06-18|publisher=BBC]

Following racist abuse from FK Zeta fans, DaMarcus Beasley recalled previous instances of racism in Serbia, from fans of Red Star Belgrade. [cite web|url=http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/football.cfm?id=1242342007|title=Beasley wants hard line on racist chants|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-08-08|publisher=Edinburgh Evening News] However, Red Star has been defended by some of its black players, such as Segundo Castillo and Franklin Salas, with Castillo saying that "Red Star fans are not racist". [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/6965826.stm|title=Kosanovic blasts Rangers striker|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-08-27|publisher=BBX]


On 4 April 2007 football supporters from Slovan Bratislava displayed a banner which contained the words 'Alles Gute Adi' and a smiley-head face of Adolf Hitler during a match against FC Senec; racist chants were also heard. Just three days later, on 7 April 2007, Slovan Bratislava fans were responsible for directing monkey chants at Artmedia's Karim Guede. [cite web|url=http://www.farenet.org/news_article.asp?intNewsID=877|title=Public display of Nazi propaganda at Slovak First Division match|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-05-25|publisher=Football Against Racism In Europe]


Aston Villa's Dalian Atkinson returned from Spain after one season with Real Sociedad, unhappy with the reception he received, and identifying racial abuse as a major factor in his rapid departure from the Spanish club.

Felix Dja Ettien suffered racial abuse when he first signed for Levante; he was ignored by the coach due to his inability to speak Spanish, and whenever he fell ill he was accused of having malaria or AIDS. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/4019643.stm|title=Felix who?|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2004-11-17|author=Phil Minshull|publisher=BBC]

During a training session in 2004, a Spanish TV crew filmed Spanish national team head coach Luis Aragonés trying to motivate José Antonio Reyes by making offensive and racist references to Reyes' then teammate at Arsenal, Thierry Henry. The phrase used was "Demuestra que eres mejor que ese negro de mierda", translated as "Show that you're better than that black piece of shit". The incident caused uproar in the British media with calls for Aragonés to be sacked. However these opinions were not widely supported in Spain, with the national football federation declining to take any action, and politicians being slow to denounce the remarks. When Spain played England in a friendly match at the Bernabéu soon after, on 17 November 2004, the atmosphere was hostile. Whenever black England players touched the ball, a significant proportion of the Spanish crowd began to make monkey chants, in particular to Shaun Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole. Aragonés' remarks were widely blamed by the British press for inciting the incident. After an investigation into the events during the match, UEFA fined the RFEF 100,000 CHF/ 87,000 USD and warned that any future incidents would be punished more severely. [cite web|url=http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1798795,00.html|title=European Soccer's Racism Problem|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2005-12-02|publisher=Deutsche Welle] The incident even drew reactions from then-Prime Minister Tony Blair and Sports Minister Richard Carborn. [cite web|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/spain/article/0,2763,1354973,00.html |title=Spanish apologise for soccer racism|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2004-11-19|author=Paul Kelso and Giles Tremlett|publisher=The Guardian] , with Carborn making the claim that the behaviour of Spanish fans was twenty or thirty years behind that their British counterparts. [cite news |first=Paul |last=Kelso |coauthors=Giles Tremlett |title=Spanish apologise for soccer racism |url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2004/nov/19/football.spain |work=The Guardian |date=2004-11-19 |accessdate=2008-08-05] UEFA noted that possible punishments could include suspension from major international tournaments or the closure of Spain home international matches to supporters. On 7 February 2007 Aragonés won an appeal over the offence, with the misdemeanour being downgraded to "conduct which could be considered to be racist". [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6338381.stm|title=Aragones wins Henry case appeal|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-02-07|publisher=BBC]

In February 2005, Samuel Eto'o suffered from racially-driven verbal abuse by some Real Zaragoza spectators during a match for FC Barcelona. The fans began making monkey-like chants whenever Eto'o had possession of the ball and peanuts were hurled onto the pitch. Eto'o threatened to leave the pitch in the middle of the game, but was prevented by the intervention of his team-mates and the referee, who rushed to the pitch to calm him down. His teammate Ronaldinho, who has suffered similar abuses but less intensely, said he was fed up with the sounds and that if Eto'o had left the pitch, he would have done the same. As Barcelona won 4-1, Eto'o danced like a monkey, saying rival fans were treating him as a monkey.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/4261881.stm |title=Eto'o responds to racist abuse|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2005-02-13|publisher=BBC] Referee Fernando Carmona Mendez did not mention the incidents in his match report, commenting only that the behaviour of the crowd was "normal" . The fans were identified to police by fellow spectators and they were fined and banned from attending sporting events for five months. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/4104067.stm|title=Two fined for Eto'o taunts|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2004-12-17|publisher=BBC] Eto'o declared in the aftermath that the punishment was insufficient and that La Romareda, Real Zaragoza's stadium, should have been closed for at least one year. However, Eto'o's coach, Frank Rijkaard, told him to concentrate on football and to stop talking about the incident. Eto'o has stated that he does not take his children to football matches, due the prevalent racism [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6525401.stm|title=Eto'o keeps kids from racist fans|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-04-04|publisher=BBC] and has also suggested that players walk off if they become victims of racism. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6262526.stm|title=Eto'o seeks racism walk-off|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-05-07|publisher=BBC]

Many other African footballers have also been victims of racial abuse, such as Cameroon's Idriss Carlos Kameni, who was abused while playing for Espanyol against Atlético Madrid, who were fined €6000.

United Kingdom


In England, 25% of professional footballers are black, yet only 1% of football fans describe themselves as "non-white".Fact|date=December 2007 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. [cite web|url=http://www.sirc.org/publik/fvracism.html|title=Racism and football fans|accessdate=2008-02-17|publisher=Social Issues Research Centre]

Arthur Wharton, born in Gold Coast, was the world's first Black professional footballer, and played as a goalkeeper for Darlington, although he was outdated by Andrew Watson, who was a Scottish amateur footballer. Other early non-white footballers include Walter Tull and Hong Y Soo.cite web|url=http://www.furd.org/default.asp?intPageID=24|title=Pioneering Black footballers|accessdate=2008-02-17|publisher=Football Unites, Racism Divides]

The dark-skinned Everton F.C. center-forward, Dixie Dean, recalled how racist comments were aimed at him as he left the pitch at half time during a match in London in the 1930s. Dean, reportedly, punched the offender himself before disappearing into the players' tunnel. The authorities took no action against Dean, and a nearby police officer was alleged to have informed the victim that he had "deserved" his punishment .

Steve Mokone, a black South African who later played for FC Barcelona, left Coventry City after his manager said to him "We brought you over here and you are not satisfied. That's the trouble with you people"; Mokone interpreted this as being racist, and he swiftly signed for Heracles Almelo. [cite web|url=http://www.knet.co.za/orlandostadium/kalamazoo.htm|title=Steve "Kalamazoo" Mokone|accessdate=2008-02-17|publisher=knet.co.za]

On 21 April, 2004, Ron Atkinson resigned from ITV after he was caught making a racist remark live on air about the black Chelsea F.C. player Marcel Desailly: believing the microphone to be switched off, he said, "...he [Desailly] is what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger". Although transmission in the UK had finished, the microphone gaffe meant that his comment was broadcast to various countries in the Middle East. He also left his job as a columnist for "The Guardian" "by mutual agreement" as a result of the comment.

On 13 January 2007, The FA charged Newcastle player Emre Belözoğlu with "using racially-aggravated abusive and/or insulting words", referring to an incident during the 3-0 defeat by Everton at Goodison Park on 30 December 2006. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/6256787.stm|title=Newcastle's Emre denies FA charge|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-01-26|publisher=BBC] Emre was, on 16 February 2007, accused of more racist behaviour, this time against Bolton's El-Hadji Diouf. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/6368207.stm|title=FA to probe new Emre race claims|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-02-16|publisher=BBC] However, on 1 March 2007, it was revealed that Diouf would not be pursuing his claim.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/6407915.stm|title=Emre faces new racism allegation|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-03-01|publisher=BBC] It was also later revealed that Watford player Al Bangura had released a statement declaring that he was the victim of racist abuse from Emre. On 19 March he was cleared of the charges relating to the Everton game. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/6468243.stm|title=Emre cleared of FA racism charge |accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-03-19|publisher=BBC]

On 6 March 2007 it was announced that the Metropolitan Police were investigating apparent anti-Semitic chants by West Ham fans before the match with Spurs two days previouisly after a video of the offence surfaced on the internet. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_ham_utd/6422059.stm|title=Police probe Hammers racism claim|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-03-06|publisher=BBC]

On 7 April 2007, in a match between Rotherham and Gillingham, Gillingham keeper Kelvin Jack was racially abused by a Rotherham fan. On 13 April 2007, the fan was banned for life from the club. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/south_yorkshire/6551167.stm|title=Life ban for racist football fan|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-04-13|publisher=BBC]

Following his appointmnt as manager in September 2007, Israeli Avram Grant has been the subject of anti-Semitic taunts from some Chelsea fans; Grant's father was a Polish survivor of the German Nazi Holocaust; [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/chelsea/7020854.stm|title=Chelsea angry at Grant barracking|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-09-30|publisher=BBC] Grant has also received death threats and anti-Semitic post. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7254547.stm|title=Chelsea boss gets death threats|accessdate=2008-02-20|date=2008-02-20|publisher=BBC]

An advertisement aired in Sky Sports [http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=L4s71SfkZfg] created a great controversy in Spain. The Spanish Media accused Sky sports of being racist due to the great number of stereotypes in that advertisement .


Andrew Watson was the first Black football player in Scotland, although he never turned professional and so Arthur Wharton is considered the first Black British footballer.

On 2 January 1988, Rangers winger Mark Walters made his debut against Celtic in the Old Firm derby match at Parkhead. Rangers lost 2-0 and Walters was subjected to racist abuse from opposing Celtic fans and many Rangers fans who were caught on camera chanting like monkeys, threw fruit, (mostly bananas) on to the pitch and dressed in fancy-dress monkey suits.

On 28 February 2007 the St Johnstone player Jason Scotland was the target of racist taunts by a handful of Motherwell fans. The offenders were promptly reprimanded by the spectators around them and were reported to police and match stewards. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/st_johnstone/6407259.stm|title=Scotland disappointed at racism|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-03-01|publisher=BBC] Motherwell chairman John Boyle later issued an apology on behalf of the club, [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/motherwell/6407937.stm|title=Motherwell apologise for racism|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-03-01|publisher=BBC] but Motherwell were to court further controversy on 3 September 2007 when Laryea Kingston of Hearts was abused, although Motherwell refuted the claims. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/m/motherwell/6977160.stm|title=SPL seek reply to racism claims|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-09-06|publisher=BBC]

On 15 September 2007 Russell Latapy was racially abused by Hibs fans while playing for Falkirk F.C.; two fans were later sent to court for their part in the abuse. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/f/falkirk/6997553.stm|title=Fans in court over Falkirk probe|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2007-09-17|publisher=BBC]

outh America


On 14 April 2005, the Quilmes player Leandro Desabato was arrested for racially abusing Grafite, a black Brazilian player. [cite web|url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0512/p07s01-woam.html|title=Soccer slide-tackles racism|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2005-05-12|author=Bill Faries|publisher=Christian Science Monitor] He was held for 40 hours, and no charges were brought against the player after Grafite decided not to press charges. [cite web|url=http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=soccer&id=2036949|title=Argentine player held in Brazil for racist insults|accessdate=2008-02-17|date=2005-04-14|author=Pedro Fonseca|publisher=ESPN]

ee also

*Football Against Racism in Europe
*Racism Breaks the Game
*Show Racism The Red Card
*Stand Up Speak Up

External links

* [http://www.eurocup2012.com.pl/eng/16/bbc-material-about-racism-on-polish-football-stadiums/ BBC report on racism on Polish stadiums]
* [http://www.furd.org/ Football Unites, Racism Divides]
* [http://www.srtrc.org/ Show Racism The Red Card]
* [http://www.kickitout.org/ Let's Kick Racism Out Of Football]
* [http://www.nike.com/standupspeakup/index.jsp Stand Up Speak Up]
* [http://geocities.com/tennantralphs/ One Game For All, Without Racism]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWYpmF1j288&mode=related&search= Mark Walters debut]


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