Football Knows No Race

The global atmosphere remains polluted by the shock waves ignited by the racist language used by the fourth match official of the European Champions League encounter between Paris St. Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir. Like one man, players of both teams in unison walked out of the pitch in protest after the Romanian official, Sebastian Coltescu addressed Cameroon’s Achile Webo, Basaksehir’s assistant trainer as “negro.” The incident happened just 14 minutes into the match which was taking place at Parc des Princes, the all-seater football stadium in Paris consequently leading to the abrupt suspension of the encounter. Even though a new set of officials headed by Dutchman Danny Makkelie as Central Referee was appointed to handle the match a day after, the dust raised by the racist act is yet to settle. The anger is sweeping across the globe. Football, the saying goes, is round and knows no race. Unfortunately human beings in their natural and somewhat insurmountable weakness have often fallen into the trap of thinking that this king sports ought to be a preserve of a select group or race. This state of affairs has existed for ages negatively defying the test of time. From every indication, overcoming racist instincts remains one of the major hurdles for football institutions. On many occasions, before an encounter kicks off, a dissyllabic banner bearing the words “No Racism” is displayed in the centre of the pitch. Why this has failed to impact on the historic fight against this ill is what many are still to understand. Last year alone, more than 150 football-related racist incidents were reported in England and Wales indicating a more than 50 per cent rise, says Tom Bassam in The Guardian newspaper. In March, 2019 during a match between Montenegro and England, several English players were subjected to monkey chants from Montenegro fans. As the world condemns last Tuesday...



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