• October 20th, 2018
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Shooting from the hip: Racism in sports, take a leaf out of the English book


Kudos to Sulley Muntari Last weekend’s incident of blatant racism in the Italian Football Premier League, Serie-A, has prompted yours truly to revisit and analyze this nauseating exercise, so prevalent in the upper tiers of European football leagues. Sports, the beautiful game of football in particular, have over the years been engulfed in serial practices of racism worldwide whilst powerful umbrella football bodies are treating this damning attitude with kid gloves. Racism in sports has been rife amongst European nations led by fading football powerhouse Italy and even Scandinavian nations. Worse still, back home on our own soil, athletes of colour right in our midst are constantly subjected to all sorts of discriminatory treatment - though people don’t want to talk about these evils of racism: the much-publicized ‘Kwaaikie’ racist slur is a classic case in point. Veteran Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari has certainly warmed himself into the hearts of the traditionally voiceless African footballers plying their trade in the mega rich but volatile European football leagues under trying circumstances. The Ghanaian walked off the pitch, and rightly so, in protest after he was subjected to all sorts of racial abuse by fans and young children during a Serie-A match at Cagliari on Sunday. What pisses me off to the core is that when the agitated Muntari sought refuge with the match official, the traumatized brother was harshly and shockingly reciprocated in the shape of a caution for daring to alert the referee about his dilemma. Muntari just had had enough and resolved to walk off the pitch – only for the referee to flash a second yellow card for apparent dissent, which subsequently culminated in a red card (he was sent off). So, to sum it up precisely, the brother was summarily deemed out of order for standing up against racial abuse on his persona - what crap is that? The English premiership are forerunners in the fight against racism and if this had happened in England, the culprits or rather perpetrators of racism would have been immediately identified, pursued, charged and dealt with in the most appropriate fashion. When it comes down to dealing with racism, I must doff my korrie for the English blokes – they walk the talk as can be attested by the John Terry/ Anton Ferdinand racial debacle. Anton is the younger brother of England great Rio and nephew of another England international Les Ferdinand. Fifa, as the world’s football controlling body, cannot just sit arms folded, pretending this is not their baby. Is it perhaps not time for Fifa to stand up and be counted as well as introduce hard and fast rules if we are to seriously tackle and arrest blatant racism, so loosely and recklessly practised in the global game. NFA must start doing things by the book Did I hear that the country’s football governing body, the Namibia Football Association (NFA) has slapped fines of N$20,000 on the six clubs that declined an invitation to participate in the Debmarine Namibia Cup?. Seriously, how the bloody hell can you fine offenders in the conspicuous absence of a fair hearing? It’s a generally accepted practice if we talk about sound corporate governance to allow due process to take its course, allowing offenders to be prosecuted, found guilty and subsequently sanctioned. Lest we forget, the much-publicized African Stars/NPL court case and Barry Rukoro’s suspension by NFA president Frans Mbidi are classic cases in question. This is exactly what happens when basic procedures are deliberately sidestepped. Wake up and smell the java my learned colleagues – that’s not the way to conduct business unless you want to make a mockery of justice. I rest my case.
2017-05-05 12:11:48 1 years ago
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