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Racism in Soccer

Ethan Wang-So '19, Staff Writer

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April 21, 2017: two of the most successful clubs in Ukraine, Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, face each other in front of rowdy Dynamo Kiev fans for a Ukrainian Group Stage Match. However, the Kiev fans had launched racist demonstrations against the Shakhtar black players. Fans disgustingly wore Ku Klux Klan clothing and white masks. Sickening racist abuse was thrown at the Shakhtar players. The fans were clearly not happy with the number of black players on the pitch. UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, had sent an inspector to the match to check if the stadium was ready for a Champions League Final. UEFA had apparently charged the fans. However, this is not the first time an incident like this has happened at Kiev. In 2015, fans were caught on video physically harming other black fans during a match against Chelsea. Dynamo Kiev is also not the only club who has had racist incidents with fans. Many other clubs have had the same situation. Racism in European soccer is a big issue and raises questions to what needs to be done.

In Italy’s Serie A league, discriminatory chants are very common among lower clubs. In France, Bastia supporters threw chants at Mario Balotelli, the son of Ghanaian immigrants. Bastia was given a one-point deduction. Just recently, Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish League made suggestive motions and chants after Scott Sinclair had scored against them for Celtic. Serbia, Hungary, and even Croatia are also known to have racist behavior among fans. In 2015, a popular club from Israel, Beitar Jerusalem, signed two Muslim players. The almost entirely Jewish fan base disapproved and continued to throw xenophobic and racial slurs against Arabs and Muslims. Beitar has been repeatedly fined by the Israel Football Association, but the fans still continue to throw xenophobic demonstrations.

The recent incidents in Ukraine and Scotland have shown the world that racism in European Soccer is still present. UEFA has repeatedly tried to stop this endless wave of controversially discriminatory acts by throwing anti-racism campaigns. Punishments and fines have seemed to work to an extent, but many extreme fans across Europe seem have been continually acting up over the past few years. Racism in soccer is an issue that has been going on for many years.  UEFA has cracked down on the issue and has repeatedly investigated.

Sources:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/3408540/dynamo-kiev-ultras-racially-aggravated-clash-shakhtar-donetsk/
http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/34921849

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Racism in Soccer