Sports teach us about team bonding, unity, and brotherhood more so than just winning and losing the game. The spirit of any game does not lie in whether your team won or lost to the opponent team but how well your team played. However, the evil of racism has gradually entered the arena of sports and many shameful events have occurred lately which clearly marks the beginning of racism in Europe, and one such sport where racism is clearly noticeable is football, the world’s most popular sport. So how come all of a sudden racism in Europe and in European football is so much on rise?
Many might not know it but racism in Europe sports began during the early 1970s and 1980s in the British Isles where black footballers from ethnic backgrounds and culture were abused verbally by the crowd. Many of the people in the stadium sang racist and anti-semitic songs and yelled out racist slurs that would hurt the mindset of the black footballers driving them out of the game. It was then that racism in Europe was linked to far-right groups who were trying to use football matches and games as a recruitment spot of new members in their gang and to propagate their racist-based literature as it would be an ideal location for them to brainwash thousands of people at one single point of time.
During the 1990s, British government introduced strong measures to combat racism in Europe and European football and many other non-government organizations joined hands with the British government in order to eradicate European racism but the efforts did not bring in much change to the situation. In the year 2004, racism in Europe continued to show up its ugly face when second half substitute Shaun Wright-Philips was abused by the crowds by making monkey noises and racist chants against him. In another racism event, British media blamed Spanish coach Luis Aragones for an incident before the match where Aragones was filmed by Spanish TV crew where he motivated Jose Antonio Reyes by making racist references to his teammate Thierry Henry. Though the Spanish FA should have taken action against Aragones, they prefer only to fine Luis Aragones for his racist comments.
Racism in Europe once again came into the spotlight in 2006 when Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o suffered racial abuse by fans of Real Zaragoza. Fans began to make monkey chants and verbal abuse and Eto’o finally threatened to leave the pitch in protest but was finally calmed down by his teammates. In another European racism event Atheltico Madrid was fined 600 Euros for racial comments against Espanyol’s Cameroon goalkeeper Carlo Kameni and Deportivo La Coruna.
Another news of European racism in football broke out when Ivorian defender Marc Zoro was abused by the visiting Inter Milan supporters with strong fascist views. Ex-Lazio player Paolo Di Canio found himself in deep waters after making the fascist salute to the Lazio fans in the stadium. Now with the World Cup just around the corner FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that they will simply abandon the match if they find any element of European racism happening in the stadium which would affect the sports and individual leagues drastically.