Football for years has had a common goal: Bringing people together. That is the true joy of the sport and it will remain so for the rest of days. You could be at a game sitting by a complete stranger, and for those ninety minutes you are united as one. Football’s popularity is unrivaled, its attractiveness unquestioned, and its reputation as a trend-setter unmatched. With over 3.5 billion people watching the World Cup every four years, football (or Soccer in some parts of the world) is at the apex of sports. However, the World Cup is not a sufficient enough example portraying why football is such a popular game. Around the world, from Europe to China, Australia to South America, and India to the USA, big leagues to bigger tournaments, small leagues to even smaller tournaments are all set up in order to give people the opportunity to take part in the beautiful game; and make no mistake about it, football is the world’s beautiful game. Unfortunately, with everything beautiful, there is a downside. In the world of football, the problem with racism is an ever-growing reality. This distinctive predicament makes us, the fans and players alike, forget about the game and realize at the end of the day that it is a game played among all human beings, among one race. This element is a nasty one and should be completely stamped out, not only in the world of football, but in every sport and in our everyday lives as well.
The issue of racism has been a growing problem in recent years, not only in football, but in-fact in all sport societies where an increased interaction between cultures is ever present. It has been cruel and sometimes downright evil to watch some matches where racism takes place, and fighting it should be the number one priority for every football association set up around the world. Two main examples come to mind when thinking of extreme racist abuse. Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o, who also plays for giant club Barcelona in Europe, received vigorous “monkey chants” from groups of spectators which seemingly grew within seconds to the whole stadium. Eto’o threatened to leave the pitch because the abuse was honestly that horrible. The other incident occurred during a Spain-England friendly, where many of the black English players received that same abuse. I remember watching these games and thinking to myself the referee should simply stop the game. I couldn’t believe that during such matches, between two such well-known sides, at club level and international level, such incidents could occur. It was literally painful to watch and I was disgusted with anyone who called themselves fans for participating in such an act. These people, or fans in their own regard, which joined in such “monkey chants” or any other similar behavior, are simply adding to racial divisions in sport. It could be that they are not fully aware of the wider consequences of their actions, where lack of education and experiences among other cultures and people acts as a heavy contributor to their intolerance of others. This is where the work of sport federations together with clubs, fan associations, governments & NGO’s must join forces in order to support the movement of fighting racism. Football has been at the forefront of fighting this epidemic in sports, with such countries as England, Austria, Germany, and Australia leading the way. FIFA has pulled several campaigns to combat racism, among others, Kick It Out& Show Racism the Red Card, My Game Is Fairplay, Campaign Against Racism, and the United Against Racism in European Football. FIFA effort appears successful, especially in Europe.
These high profile campaigns have been put into place and are slowly making headway in the fight against racism. In an attempt to teach tolerance and understanding, these organizations are hoping that with time, the will and desire will break through in order to achieve a cleaner environment in the world of sports. Football leads the way in this struggle because of the popularity of the game. It will be a long-term struggle to eradicate it fully, but with education and by raising awareness in younger generations, the future does look better. Discrimination towards any athlete is improper conduct. Any sort of intimidation toward any person, anywhere, because of the color of their skin is unacceptable. This is the message. This is the fight. Racism must be kicked out. It does not belong in the beautiful game and does not reflect the spirit of the game.
Filed under: Artikel, Politik, Sodomy 2; Keputusan Mahkamah Kes Liwat Anwar Ibrahim; Saiful Bukhari; Liwat 2; 901 Kes Liwat Anwar, Uncategorized | Tagged: football, ismail aminuddin, Malaysia, racism, social |