Racist behavior in Spanish football, more or less isolated, is reproduced in other major European leagues, although in most of these championships the application of sanctioning regulations is much more forceful and effective. The consolidation of far-right parties on the continent has brought to the surface new episodes of insults against soccer players because of the color of their skin but, just as these have diminished in stadiums due to the proliferation of television cameras, social networks have become a refuge so that racists act from a clandestinity that allows them to roam free. It is the new scourge.
Those days when fans directed racist chants at black or Asian players, and routinely threw banana skins at them, have gone down in history due to the severe penalties imposed on the clubs and fans involved, who cannot set foot on the pitch again. in a while. But this does not mean that racism has disappeared, but that it has moved from stadiums to social networks, where it is the order of the day and the culprits can hide behind anonymity. One example was the insults after the 2020 Euro Cup final, which England lost on penalties against Italy, directed at the three black players who missed maximum penalties (Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford), as if the whites they will never fail. More recently, in February this year, Tottenham's Korean Heung-Min Son was the victim of racist abuse online after his team's 2-0 win over West Ham (who have an extreme fan base). right). And an individual who posted a racist message to Ivan Toney, Brentford striker, on his Instagram account, after scoring two goals against Brighton, has been sentenced to not be able to set foot on any football field in the United Kingdom, of any category, for three years . But if racism is institutionalized in the police, it is also in football and in the whole of British society in general.
Racist insults regularly appear in stadiums and the German Football Federation (DFB) uses FIFA's three-step protocol. First step: the referee suspends the game and is notified by public address system. Second: if the insults persist, the teams enter the locker room and further notice. Third step: the match is cancelled. In the 2021-22 season, up to 911 games were suspended in Germany (counting all categories) due to incidents of discrimination or racism. The possible sanctions correspond to the disciplinary commission of the DFB. In prevention work, the German Football League (DFL) coordinates projects and workshops against racism for organizations and fan groups. Since 2011 there has also been a sports and political network "for equity, respect and human dignity", subscribed to by all the clubs. Perhaps the most significant episode of racism, due to the debate it generated, was the decision in 2018 by Mesut Özil, of Turkish origin, to leave the national team due to racist insults after the poor result of the Mannschaft in the World Cup in Russia in this year. “I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” said Özil, alluding to the fact that he was part of the team that won the 2014 World Cup. Regarding insults on social networks, the most recent case is the racist messages on TikTok against the defender of RB Leipzig Benjamin Henrichs, of a German father and a Ghanaian mother.
Racist incidents have been regular in French football stadiums since the 1980s, despite awareness campaigns, surveillance cameras to identify those responsible and sanctions. One of the recent cases with the greatest impact involved the PSG coach, Christophe Galtier, accused by the former sports director of Nice of having complained, when he was managing the city's team on the Côte d'Azur, about the presence of too many black players and Muslims on the team. Galtier denied it and denounced the accuser, but the suspicion has hurt him. Racism – or skin-deep sensitivity on the matter – also hovered over the conflictive relationship that Karim Benzema had with the coach Didier Deschamps. The Real Madrid striker accused Deschamps a few years ago of not calling him up for giving in to racist France. Racist behaviors have sometimes led to suspensions of several years for players or referees – in lower categories – and threats of losing a point in the classification if the facts were repeated. Even a netizen received a fine for insulting Mbappé after missing a penalty with the national team. France complained about racist comments on the networks after their defeat against Argentina in the World Cup final in Qatar.
In Italy, insults and intimidation against players increased last season. In 2019 the Italian Football Federation changed the rules to temporarily suspend matches in the case of racist chants. It was expected that, after the first incident, the teams must stop the game, while after the second they must go directly to the locker room. But the rules have failed to curb a widespread phenomenon. For example, in the Coppa Italia semifinals, Juventus were punished by playing their next home match in this championship with their stadium partially closed due to racist chants directed against Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku by some of their fans. . The Belgian was reprimanded with a second yellow for provoking Juve's tifosi after scoring a penalty, after which the insults increased and 171 fans, who were identified by the Turin police, were expelled from the stadiums and fined by the Justice italian. Lukaku is just one of many black players who have suffered abuse. In January, Lazio played without its ultras after racist cries against Lecce players Samuel Umtiti and Lameck Banda. And Roma were punished with a fine of 80,000 euros for shouting by fans who called Sampdoria's Serbian coach a “gypsy”, a fine softened after manager José Mourinho intervened to silence them.