By: Lawal Jamiu Olakunle
In recent years, racism in football has become a cancer; an evil that spread and regenerate quickly – proving tough to get rid and eradicate. Down the years racism has become a disunity in the unifying force of the soccer community. Football has been an avenue that bring together the global community in respective of their ethnics, backgrounds and races but racism has been at the center stage in pulling it apart.
Racism has been ignored for a long time in the game and has been a silent menance not until former Ghanaian and AC Milan’s Kevin-Prince Boateng leave the pitch in a friendly match against Pro Patria after being racially abused. With that act, it suddenly gathers momentum and an outcry from every angle of the game called for a stiffer action against the prevalent racism.
With such outcry – fans are being banish, players are being ban and all necessary sanctions are being levelled against clubs or it officials found guilty of this act. But how well as such been effective in curbing the menace?
In recent times, racial abuse has taken a dangerous and hard to curb phase, as perpatratos now hide behind social media as a faceless individuals to dish out this their evil act. Unlike the players and spectators sanctions, these individuals are no where to be found.
The Premier League, which kicked off a new season last month, has already faced several Incidents of racial abuse online by fans claiming to be supporters of their various clubs. But the bigger episode which involves one of the super star of the soccer community, Paul Pogba.
In the second half of United match against the Wolves, Manchester United’s star midfielder Pogba had a chance to put his team ahead with a penalty kick. But the French international failed to convert from the spot, and the Red Devils finished with a disappointing tie against the Wanderers.
Before that, Chelsea had condemned “abhorrent posts” that targeted young forward Tammy Abraham after he, too, failed to convert a Penalty kick.
“We are disgusted with the abhorrent posts we have seen on social media” A club spokesman said. “Chelsea FC finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour unacceptable. It has no place at this club and where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against them.”
England international Marcus Rashford who condemns the racial attack on his United teammate after the Wolves match was also at the receiving ends for missing a penalty kick against the Crystal Palace earlier this season.
Rashford had condemned the racist abuse suffered by team-mate Paul Pogba on social media prior to that.
Rashford was called the “n” word by a number of people –one of whom claim to be a Manchester United fan –after his spot kick crashed against the post. Racist photos that attempted to mock him were also posted on Twitter.
He is the fourth player within the premiership week to suffer such abuse following incidents involving Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Cardiff City’s Yakou Meite.
It’s now glaring and crystal clear that racism is taking a dangerous and critical phase in the football community and unless something is done it’s bound to take greiater heights.
Sanctioning alone will not kick racism out totally. The football governing body has to employ other efficient and workable means to degrade this mess, before it gets out of hands.
Racism is synonymous to corruption. if nothing is done proactively, as corruption kills a system so is racism can kill the game of soccer.