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2019: A Disgraceful Year Of Racism In Football

By Nadine White

Towards the end of last year, former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright said “the bad old days” were back.

He was referring to a video of a supporter appearing to abuse Manchester City player Raheem Sterling in a match against Chelsea.

The next day,

A post shared by Romelu Lukaku (@romelulukaku) on Sep 2, 2019 at 5:18am PDT

Former England and Newcastle forward Peter Beardsley was suspended from all football-related activity after being found guilty of making racist comments by an independent regulatory commission.

The 58-year-old, who denied the allegations, left his role as the Magpies’ Under-23s coach earlier this year after an internal investigation and has been banned from the game by the Football Association for 32 weeks until April 2020.

Peter Beardsley

October

Uefa opened disciplinary proceedings against both Bulgaria and England following the Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia.

The game had to be stopped twice because of racist abuse aimed at the England players by the crowd. Bulgarian fans made Nazi salutes and directed monkey noises at black England players.

This prompted the resignation of president of the Bulgarian Football Union, Borislav Mihaylov, following pressure from Bulgaria’s prime minister Boyko Borissov.

Within days of this happening, Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town football clubs were led off the pitch by their managers in the 64th minute following racist abuse during an FA Cup match. Two men were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.

It is thought this was the first time a match at such a senior level had been abandoned due to racism.

In the same month, Manchester United ejected a fan from Old Trafford during a Premier League match against Liverpool over alleged racial abuse.

Haringey Borough goalkeeper Valery Pajetat (left) walks out onto the pitch at the start of the FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay match at Coles Park Stadium, London.

Video footage circulated showed a group of Aston Villa’s fans singing about the club’s Zimbabwean midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and one other player, with references to several racial stereotypes.

Brighton FC handed out “lengthy” bans to three supporters following incidents of racism at the Amex Stadium. Two supporters were ejected from the stadium at an Under-23s game against Tottenham in September and had their details forwarded to Sussex Police for further investigation.

November

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taison was sent off and subsequently banned for one match after reacting to alleged racist abuse during his side’s 1-0 home win against Dynamo Kiev.

Brazil international Taison gestured to the away fans and then kicked the ball into their section of the stand before the referee led all the players off the field in the 77th minute.

Video footage shows Taison and Brazilian team-mate Dentinho leaving the field in tears after both had allegedly been targeted, while they were consoled by several Dynamo Kiev players.

Meanwhile, Everton investigated an incident of alleged racist behaviour during their Premier League draw against Tottenham.

During a meeting West Bromwich Albion players, Prince William discussed the impact of racism on professional footballers’ mental health as part of the Heads Up campaign. The Duke of Cambridge said he was “fed up” of discrimination in the sport.

Welcome, @KensingtonRoyal!

The Duke of Cambridge was greeted by Chief Executive Mark Jenkins, Chairman Mr Li Piyue and club captain Chris Brunt. ? pic.twitter.com/JllcAvhrOt

— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) November 28, 2019

December

Tottenham Spurs launched an investigation after Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger reported being targeted with monkey chants during the second half of the game at the Tottenham stadium.

This prompted Downing Street to issue a warning to football authorities to step up efforts to tackle racism.

Earlier this month, Italian football league Serie A came under fire for – astonishingly – using three paintings of monkeys to illustrate a campaign to stamp out racism that has been branded as a “sick joke”.

This came after Italian daily Corriere dello Sport was accused of fuelling racism with its bizarre front page headline “Black Friday” alongside pictures of Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Roma’s Chris Smalling.

The former Manchester United team-mates were due to go up against each other for their new clubs the following day.

Gloucestershire football club Forest Green have also threatened to take action against a supporter following an incident of racist abuse during their Sky Bet League Two game with Scunthorpe.

SEE IT, REPORT IT…https://t.co/gPcFvycCV5#KickitOut@kickitout#WeAreFGRpic.twitter.com/TRI0kFooh9

— Forest Green Rovers (@FGRFC_Official) December 6, 2019

A video circulated that appeared to show a supporter making a monkey gesture at a player during a match between Manchester City and Manchester United.

The scourge showed no sign of letting up as the year drew to a close. Two Doncaster men were arrested on Boxing Day after racist chanting was reported in the away stand at Peterborough’s Weston Homes Stadium. It happened as the city’s United side played Doncaster Rovers.

Will 2020 be any better? We can hope – but we’re not holding our breath.

Via:: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/racism-in-football-2019_uk_5e0213a9e4b05b08babac6b1