Saturday, September 30, 2023
33 C
Brunei Town
- Advertisement -

Racist abuse of Richarlison shows FIFA still has work to do

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (AP) – When FIFA President Gianni Infantino dashed from Geneva to Paris to watch World Cup favourite Brazil in its final warm-up game before Qatar, he cannot have expected to be confronted by such visual proof of the racism that continues to infect football.

Not least because the sport’s world governing body disbanded its anti-racism taskforce – declaring it had “completely fulfilled its temporary mission” – shortly after Infantino was elected in 2016.

FIFA has implemented a detailed strategy to combat all forms of discrimination, but the incident at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday, when a banana was thrown at Richarlison as he celebrated scoring a 19th-minute goal in Brazil’s 5-1 win against Tunisia, showed just how much work is still to be done.

The Tottenham striker later tweeted: “As long as it’s ‘blah blah blah’ and they don’t punish, it will continue like this, happening every day and everywhere. No time bro!”

In a statement, FIFA condemned the incident, saying: “First and foremost, FIFA strongly rejects any form of racism and violence and has a very clear zero tolerance stance against such behaviour in football.

Brazil’s forward Richarlison shoots the ball during the friendly football match between Brazil and Tunisia at the Parc des Princes in Paris. PHOTO: AFP

“FIFA will investigate the incident in yesterday’s game in Paris.”

Earlier that day, Infantino had been in Geneva to discuss human rights-related matters and their relation to soccer with Federico Villegas of the United Nations.

Later on, he witnessed first-hand the latest instance of racism and discrimination, which is prompting such concern within the sport.

Leading players have called out online abuse – but there have also been episodes within stadiums, with FIFA handing Hungary a two-game stadium ban and a fine of almost USD205,000 after England players were subjected to racist abuse during a World Cup qualifier in Budapest last September. UEFA also sanctioned Hungary for discriminatory behaviour during Euro 2020.

- Advertisement -

Latest article