Enough is enough with racists
We love it so much and even call it the beautiful game but the beauty of this game we love so much is under siege by a serious pandemic that Kevin-Prince Boateng compared to malaria.
The AC Milan midfielder walked off the pitch after being racially abused by fans of fourth division Pro Patria during a friendly in Italy in January.
Fifa invited him to speak at the discussion entitled ‘Racism and Sport’. Boateng spoke about the events during the match, saying that he was "profoundly angry and offended" and that racism is "one of the most dangerous diseases of our time".
“There is no vaccine to fight this and no antibiotics to take. It’s a dangerous and infectious virus which is strengthened by indifference and inaction,” said the Ghanaian midfielder.
“Should we fold our arms and just watch a few idiots ruin this beautiful thing. No I won’t and I hope you will join me as we stand against this disgusting human action.
“When I played for Ghana, I learned how to fight malaria. Simple vaccines are not enough. You also have to dry out infected areas where the carriers proliferate. I think that racism and malaria have a lot in common.
“Football stadiums, like other places, are full of young people. If we don’t fight the stagnation, many of those who are healthy today, could become infected with one of the most dangerous diseases of our time.”
Boateng added that more people in the spotlight must take a stand against racism. This is me saying I may not be in the “spotlight” but I will join the fight with my keyboard.
“Many sportsmen, like myself and my teammates, as well as artists and musicians, all have unique chances and responsibilities to make themselves heard.
"We have the possibility to reach the places that political speeches will never reach. History shows us how important the contributions of famous athletes can be. I can say that the fact that the President of America shares my skin colour, has something to do not only with Martin Luther King but also Muhammad Ali.
"It’s just as important to stand up to racism today as it was in the past. We have to find inspiration from those who have risked their lives for the cause. I’m convinced that it would be a fatal error to believe that we can fight racism by ignoring it and hoping that it’ll go away like a headache. This won’t happen,” he said.
This speech inspired me and ignited a passion to make a move to call upon everyone, yes you, to join hands as we fight this inhuman behaviour by ‘humans’. Recently, in the Serie A, Roma fans racially abused Mario Balotelli and guess what was the penalty for that behavior, a €50 000 fine. Really now, these days clubs have lucrative sponsorships and that amount is just small change.
The referee stopped the match early in the second half of Sunday evening's match between AC Milan and Roma after racist chanting by the visiting fans. Warnings were broadcast over the public address system and play was re-started after a two-minute delay.
Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba hit back at a Fenerbahce fan who waved a banana towards him and teammate Emmanuel Eboue during the weekend's league encounter by highlighting some home truths about racism.
"You call me monkey but you cried when Chelsea beat Fenerbahce in 2008. You called me monkey but you jumped in front of your screen when I won the Champions League," Drogba said on Galatasaray's Facebook page.
"You called me monkey but you got mad when I became champion with Galatasaray and the saddest thing is you called me monkey and forgot that you jumped when my 'monkey' brother scored twice yesterday... and you call yourself a true fan? Check all the Galatasaray fans’ comments and learn from them."
Ironically, both Fenerbahce goals in the 2-1 win over their arch-rivals were scored by Cameroon striker Pierre Webo. So actually, who is the monkey anyway?
I concur with Fifa president Sepp Blatter that fines are just not enough. The world football governing body boss was speaking in the wake of the Serie A drama and described the sanction as too weak and unacceptable.
"What is surprising and is not understandable for me, is that the disciplinary committee of the Italian Football Federation has taken a decision, not even 24 hours after the event, by just imposing a fine," he told Fifa.com.
To Blatter, and all other administrators that we have entrusted to run football for us, it is time you stop talking and walk the talk. Make use of video evidence to identify perpetrators and punish them with jail time.
Furthermore, hit the team with a TV blackout, coupled with empty stands. Racism is taught. I am pretty sure these teams can teach their fans some humanity. Force teams to submit a budget and strategy to fight racism or face a ban from making transfers.