PSG-Basaksehir : racism must be taken seriously because it threatens the foundations of football

The players of the PSG Neymar (left) and Kylian Mbappé put a knee on the ground to denounce racism at the resumption of the match against the Turkish club of Ba

01 January 2021 Friday 02:39
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PSG-Basaksehir : racism must be taken seriously because it threatens the foundations of football
The players of the PSG Neymar (left) and Kylian Mbappé put a knee on the ground to denounce racism at the resumption of the match against the Turkish club of Basaksehir, on December 9, 2020 at the parc des Princes, in Paris. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Forum. as Well, a referee in europe can appoint a coach african who protested, saying : "You are the Black ! "And another come to put him a red card without even trying to understand the why and how. Unbearable double punishment.

on Tuesday, December 8, on the lawn of the parc des Princes, Pierre Webo, ex-attacker of the team of Cameroon today assistant coach of the Turkish club of Basaksehir, was not supported as the fourth referee of the meeting, the Romanian Sebastian Coltescu, uses the term "negru" (" black ", in Romanian) to designate it. The incident has created a precedent that is unprecedented, leading all players and staff of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Basaksehir to stop a match of the champions League and not return to the field.

Read our story : "Come one fate" : the players of PSG-Basaksehir leave the ground, denouncing the racist remarks of a referee

once again, some forth and produce explanations that lead to the relativisations of which the background noise is still the same : "Is it so serious ? "" Is this not a bit too ? "For me, the answer is clearly no. Since this episode occurs after a series of ignominies on many lands of Europe, which have lasted for too long : throw a banana, cries of monkey and insults from the stands. This time, the affront came from an actor supposed to guarantee and respect the laws of the game.

Yes, that night in the Park, a referee said "Black" to put at a distance a coach designating it by its mere color, as if it could not be anything else. Yes, that night in the Park, another player from Istanbul, Demba Ba, has intervened by launching the fourth referee at fault : "When you talk about white man, you never say "this type of white", you simply say "this type", then why when you refer to a black man, you say "this black dude" ? "Demba Ba has had reason to be indignant. Because designate a man by a color, that is, deny him the right to an identity.

A moment in history

Precisely, what are the key players who have blocked a mechanical insidious, as usual, would go on as if nothing had happened. But the players have said " no " as a single man. It is hard to imagine the referee put 22 red cards... returning to the locker room, these players have refused to continue the match and thus endorse the words of the fourth referee. They were animated by a spirit of rebellion initiated and encouraged by Rosa Parks when she decided, in the American segregationist of sixty-five years ago, not to leave his place to a traveller in a white bus.

In my football career, I of course encountered racism, as almost all of the players are african or of african origin playing in France. But during my years of player past, in large part, the Racing Club de Lens (1991-1997), I've mostly met people determined to deny the racism.

also Read PSG-Basaksehir : Pierre Achille Webo and Demba Ba, football players who have said "no to racism"

in This match, short on decision of 22 players, in solidarity, will date : we have lived in this December 8, in a historic moment, a turning point in the history of football. The players, that night, have taken their responsibilities ; it is important that governing bodies take on their own. Because this mobilization echoed in the action of the basketball players in the NBA. But with one major difference : athletes in the u.s. are supported by their federation. It is far from us, in the French championship.

In the 1980s in England, hooliganism has put at risk the organization of games of football. The English federation and the public authorities have to react and, through a policy of coercive, have come to define this dangerous phenomenon. In the same way, the racism, structural problem, must be taken seriously, considering that in the same way that hooliganism, it puts in danger the foundations of football.

Conservatism toxic

It is true for racism is anchored in the bedrock of all other forms of discrimination, including those related to equality between women and men. We need to recognize and put an end to this conservatism toxic that it can be easy to see and find at the head of the governing bodies of football. How many clubs, leagues or federations are headed by women, or people from the diversity that is this country ? The football and its authorities must make room for actual diversity, and not to the " sprinkles ", in the words of Pape Diouf. It is the very survival of our sport.

Article reserved to our subscribers to also Read Racism, rights of minorities : the voice of more "political" French athletes

If the bodies of trusteeship to continue their policy of the ostrich, it will be up to unions to the players to organize the defense of their members who are victims of racist attacks. Their impact is such that they will move the lines of regulations is absurd, as the fact to penalize a player who comes out of the ground, or reply to provocations. Of the shares strong as the involvement of recent Antoine Griezmann, who has just broken his contract with Huawei, accused of participating in the surveillance of Uighurs, or the condemnation of the aggression of Michel Zecler by Kylian Mbappé and his comments against the excesses of some police officers – not against the police – prove that the new generation is ripe to bring the necessary changes to the football. And it is happy.

Jimmy Adjovi-Boco is a former footballer from benin, who played as a defender at RC Lens. Technical advisor to the benin minister of sports, he was a member of the presidential Council for Africa set up by Emmanuel Macron.

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Updated: 01.01.2021 02:39