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‘Bravo Boateng, Bravo Milan’

Kevin-Prince Boateng, together with his AC Milan teammates, walked off the pitch during a friendly game on Thursday against Pro Patria due to persistent racist abuse directed towards him and the other black players in the AC Milan team.

The cloud of racism has hovered and lingered in the game of football for a very long time. Despite the many advances made in the game over the years, and the increased availability of football via satellite television racism refuses to go away.

Part of the problem is that the various football governing bodies (that’s you Sepp Blatter) do not do enough to eliminate the problem. It’s all well and good having “no to racism” banners and t-shirts out before a game but that is not enough to prevent these ignorant fans from spewing forth with vitriol time after time. There is technology available via CCTV and football marshals to assist in identifying perpetrators and ensuring that they are not allowed back into stadiums. The fines issued by UEFA or FIFA or other ruling bodies should no longer be these ridiculous pittances but should be more punitive.

James Horncastle posted this eloquent article on ESPN Soccernet about the fact that there have been precedents for players walking off the pitch having been subjected to racist abuse during games. It would be great if referees allowed games to be abandoned where racist abuse is seen or heard. One of the key points to note, however, is that these walk offs have never happened during a competitive match – where there is money involved, you can be guaranteed that FIFA and their cohorts will continue to turn a blind eye to racism.

About Ticha Pfupajena

I'm beginning to get the sense that my career as a professional footballer may not happen. As a result, I'll try write about football and sports instead....


6 thoughts on “‘Bravo Boateng, Bravo Milan’

  1. Props to him and the team. I wonder if things would have turned out differently if it wasn’t a friendly match?

    Posted by m | 05/01/2013, 10:34
    • My thoughts exactly. TV money means that refs would not be allowed to abandon match. Plus the heavy fixture list already – how to incorporate cancellations etc?

      Not that I agree with the above. Merely pointing out how the beeg bosses would approach it

      Posted by Ticha Pfupajena | 05/01/2013, 11:47
  2. If it’s tru that “guns don’t kill people….BUT…people kill people” then surely FIFA/UEFA should know by now that ..”..T’shirts, banners & funky wrist bands DON’T abuse people….BUT…..People abuse People..!!”…as usual the powers that be are focussing their efforts on the wrong things as they continue to excel in mis-prioritisation. Perhaps this is why there is such resistance to incorporate technology in footy….not just for the goal-line debate BUT for the whole stadium…I mean if CCTV can identify the perps then use it…if marshalls have seen the perps….then eject and ban them….if clubs can zero in on exactly which people were in a particular section of the stadium based on the ticket numbers….then name and shame them..!! It is just a lack of will on UEFA/FIFA’s part….. BUT when a player unsportingly scores a goal, from an incident that he was expected (but not obliged) to give the opposition keeper the ball in the Champion’s league group stage…then they are swift to act and ban that player…NONSENSE!!….people’s attitudes need to change on this BUT as we all know that starts from the top…coz ultimately….. attitude reflects leadership!! Nuff said!!

    Posted by pardonthepun-dit | 05/01/2013, 11:14
  3. Sorry i disagree. Firstly I have a problem with this whole ‘lets kick racism out of football” thing. Racism is not a football issue it is a social issue at large. If you wish to kick out racism it should be at a national level not football pitch level. If it was illegal to be racist or act in a racist manner and it was taught from youth with real dire consequences then there would be fewer ignorant peeps out there. The only way football will solve racism is if black players get on with playing football, make mad-money, date as many non-black women as possible and have as many coloured kids as possible – then convert those kids to the fans of their teams and viola -racism solved from a football level.

    Walking off is not the answer for football. Imagine Liverpool leading 5-4 over united in a league game 60 seconds to play, and suddenly monkey-chants (who knows from where) Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia (giggs cause he coloured) walk off and match abandoned. This would be a problem.

    Posted by Farai Dhliwayo | 07/01/2013, 19:27
  4. Mr. Dhliwayo you can’t stop individuals from being racist but you can respect them in their place of work. If somebody is racist to me in an office environment I would expect disciplinary action to take place. Footballers are humans too with real feelings and the pitch is their place of work, you can’t expect them to focus on the game after being attacked callously. Walk off and abandon the match I say 🙂

    Posted by Mama T | 11/01/2013, 15:28

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