Tuesday, July 10, 2012


After racist chants in stadiums in Italy and Spain Final brought African players to tears, the European Union and soccer's governing body are planning to get tougher on soccer's major problem.
On soccer pitches across Belgium, players will wear a black and white stripe on their faces. In Italy, an anti-racism banner will be unveiled before the opening whistle of every top Italian league and Italian Cup match.
The measures, organized by the Belgian and Italian leagues, follow another shameful time of racism in European soccer.  Messina's Ivory Coast defender Marc Zoro threatened to walk off the field after fans of his team's opponents, Inter Milan, repeatedly hurled racial epithets at him. Two Espanyol of Barcelona players, the Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni and the Brazilian midfielder Fredson, were subjected to racist chants in Madrid by fans of opponent Atletico Madrid.
From fines to bans
Though hardly a new problem in the Spanish and Italian leagues, both European soccer's governing body as well as the European Parliament have promised to throw the book at violators and disperse the dark cloud hanging over European soccer.
"We are prepared to implement the necessary sanctions, from fines and closure of stadiums, and even to not allow teams to participate in competitions," said Per Ravn Omdal, the vice president of UEFA.
EU legislators are proposing a law that could stop games in which players are racially abused as well as punish the guilty clubs and national federations. Persistent offenders will be permanently removed from competition, should the new law go through. If more than half of the EU parliament signs the declaration, it will become a resolution with the possibility of becoming law.
Mario Baloteli

Player, in tears, tries to stop match
The strong measures came about after the Zoro incident created headlines around the world. In the 66th minute of his team's match against Inter Milan, he picked up the ball, planning to hand it to the fourth referee official as he walked off the pitch. Inter Milan stars Adriano, a Brazilian, and Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins, intervened. They pleaded with their fans to stop and convinced Zoro, who was in tears, to continue playing.
Omdal would like to see referees take more initiative in suspending or stopping matches marred by racist chants or taunts.
"Referees will be given the necessary power to abandon or cancel matches if necessary," he said. "We need referees and match officials to be tough on this issue. If they have been asleep then they need to wake up."
Marco Zoro
Soccer's racism problem nothing new
European soccer has paid particularly close attention to racism in recent years after several high-profile incidents.
World governing body FIFA fined the Spanish Football Association 100,000 Swiss francs ($87,340) after Spanish fans directed racist chants at black English players Thierry Henry and Shaun Wright-Phillips during a match between the two national teams in November 2004. The Spanish FA fined national team coach Luis Aragones 3,000 euros for racist remarks he made about Henry to his team, a figure that was slammed by anti-racism campaigners as far too low.
Serbian striker Nenad Jestrovic became the first player to be dismissed in a Champion's League match for alleged racist comments while his side, Anderlecht of Belgium, played against Liverpool earlier in the month. UEFA banned him for three matches. 
What happened to Marco Zoro
Messina's Ivorian defender Marc Zoro was reduced to tears , after being subjected to racial abuse by the visiting fans of Inter Milan, in the Italian Serie A.

The 21-year-old was targeted when he went to collect the ball near the away supporters' section and after a chorus of monkey chants he decided he would take no more part in the game.
Inter's Brazilian striker Adriano went over to console Zoro before he broke down in tears.
Zoro's team-mates managed to then persuade him to play the remainder of the match and his decision was applauded by the Messina crowd.

Officials from the Italian football federation talked to Zoro about the incident after the match and the matter is likely to lead to an official inquiry.

Last month, Zoro said he constantly suffers racial insults.

"I have been playing in Italy for three years and I see this happening almost daily," the 21-year-old said.

"All this makes me really sad. It's not easy for me and it hurts. I don't deserve this."

On the first day of this season, Zoro was subjected to racial abuse by a large section of Lazio fans at the Olympic stadium.

His anger almost boiled over at the final whistle and he had to be restrained by his team-mates.
Afterwards, Lazio president Claudio Lotito went into the Messina dressing room to apologize on behalf of his club. 
Fascist fans wave flags ahead of a game of Rome's Lazio club  
 Why do they even call us colored?? shame on them...


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