Racism in Spanish football 'at worst point ever'
18 November 2005, MADRID — The problem of racism in Spanish soccer is growing and the past year has been the worst ever, an anti-racism group claimed.
18 November 2005
MADRID — The problem of racism in Spanish soccer is growing and the past year has been the worst ever, an anti-racism group claimed.
Esteban Ibarra, head of the Movement against Intolerance, told a parliamentary commission formed to help eradicate racism from Spanish sports that the situation was getting worse not better.
"The problem of racism in Spanish soccer has grown in the past year, during which we have experienced the worst wave of this type," he said.
"It's not about a spontaneous phenomenon, because the spontaneous passes quickly and we have had this problem for 20 years.
"On the Internet, there are permanent forums promoting violence and racism," he told the deputies.
The claim comes a year after a notorious 'friendly' game between England and Spain during which black England players were barracked with racist chants.
Professional games at stadiums in several parts of Spain have been marred by repeated incidents in which hooligans hoot like apes when black players have the ball.
International sport officials and players and coaches from other countries also have complained about the persistence of racist expressions by groups of Spanish fans.
Early this year, Samuel Eto'o, a Barcelona player from Cameroon, spoke out strongly against racism after being the object of insults during a game against Zaragoza.
"This does a lot of harm," Eto'o said. "If sometimes they treat me like a white man because they think I earn a lot of money, imagine how they must treat the black kid who peddles things on the street."
But Eto'o supported a Barcelona FC director who was forced to resign after it emerged he was a supporter of the Francisco Franco Foundation, named after the former dictator.
In March, Brazilian defender Roberto Carlos, who plays for Real Madrid, the country's premier pro soccer team, called for harsher measures against racist fans who repeatedly insult black players during games.
"It's a shame that in a country like Spain someone has to stop a match to ask fans to stop insulting a player. It's a disgrace that such a thing is happening in this country, with so many black players on the field," Carlos said.
But Carlos recently gave his shirt to a convicted racist thug after a Real Madrid match.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news