🇬🇧

Italy facing racism 'epidemic', says FARE chief

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on April 3, 2019 - Duration: 01:22s

Italy facing racism 'epidemic', says FARE chief

Italy is suffering from an "epidemic" of racism inside soccer stadiums fuelled by right-wing politics, according to the head of European football's anti-discrimination watchdog FARE.

Advertisement

Italy facing racism 'epidemic', says FARE chief

SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (APRIL 3, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER FOOTBALLER, JASON ROBERTS, SAYING: "I think it's of course deeply, deeply troubling.

You see a young player like that (Moise Kean) having to endure what was thrown at him, and that at 19 years old he's young enough to be my son, we have to watch somebody put into a position of leadership like that.

What was stark to me as well was the reaction of the opposition players and some of his own players to pull him away from the situation as if he's done something wrong.

I think he showed remarkable maturity to not react more and I ask us who else in our workplace would be able to endure what that poor young man had to go through." 2.

WHITE FLASH 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FARE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PIARA POWAR, SAYING: "I don't think anybody's surprised by these incidents anymore.

Italy in particular has got a very big problem - I would go as far as to say it's an epidemic.

They've had some gatherings of the FA and the government.

But that's led to more problems, quite frankly, because it's led to a blurring of the lines.

And I think part of the problem in a country like Italy is the right-wing government.

The rhetoric of the government is anti-migrant, it's anti-African, and that clearly will always feed into stadiums and the dynamic of stadiums." STORY: Italy is suffering from an "epidemic" of racism inside soccer stadiums fuelled by right-wing politics, according to the head of European football's anti-discrimination watchdog FARE.

Reacting to alleged racist abuse directed towards Juventus striker Moise Kean in Cagliari on Tuesday (April 2), FARE's executive director Piara Powar said he was not surprised.

"Italy in particular has got a very big problem, I would go as far as to say it's an epidemic," Powar told Reuters at a keynote conference organised jointly by UEFA, the English Football Association (FA) and the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.

"I think part of the problem in Italy is the rhetoric of the right-wing government.

It's anti-migrant and anti-African and clearly that will always feed into stadiums. In Tuesday's incident the 19-year-old Kean, jeered throughout by some Cagliari fans, celebrated his late goal by standing in front of the home fans and opening his arms. Cagliari's fans then made the noise which is described in Italy as "buu" and is regarded as a racist taunt, although some argue it is simply to annoy opposing players regardless of race.

There was no official comment on Wednesday (January 3) from either club while Serie A's disciplinary committee is likely to deal with the incidents on Friday.

Immediately after the game Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci said Kean was "50-50" to blame for the incidents while boss Massimiliano Allegri also questioned his player's reaction to scoring the goal.

"That was the most shocking part about it" Powar said.

Former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, a guest at the Equal Game conference, described the reaction to Kean by some of his team mates as the "worst scenario".

"It was unbelievable," Ivorian Toure told reporters.

"You can't imagine how hurt I was when I saw those things happening.

Manchester City player, Raheem Sterling, was also criticial of Bonucci's comments on Twitter.

Later on Wednesday, Bonucci posted a photograph of himself and Kean playing for Italy on Instagram with the caption: "Regardless of everything in any case.......no to racism." Powar said his organisation was seeing a rise in discrimination across Europe with fans inside stadium often echoing the country's politics.

You are here

You might like