FOOTBALL followers are split down the middle over the seemingly endless racism that has characterized the ongoing European Championships, co-hosted by the Ukraine and Poland.
Surely, a lot of European nations should take a leaf out of the book of the inventors of the beautiful game, England, for their zero-tolerance towards racism in football. It’s a well-trumpeted call that people should be judged solely on the basis of their character and competence and not by the colour of their skin.
You see, yours truly has always opined that the often loathed and derided pale-skinned Jappies of Dutch origin are in fact cool buddies to hang around with, because one knows exactly where you stand with them unlike the great pretenders, the Germans who strongly believe that their self-confessed superiority over other races was decreed in heaven. Correct me if I’m wrong on this one.
Some things just never change. Germany set the scene alight in the last edition of the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, but their vibrant team had in their arsenal a good number of highly talented footballers of foreign origin. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski, Sammi Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Jerome Boateng who are all descendants of foreign immigrants.
However, some thick-hide Germans are calling for the axing of these sportsmen, because they claim they are not real Germans. Shame on them!
Ag sies tog! Well, in all honesty, yours truly is shivering like a fired-up Boere Orkes over the hopefully remote prospect, that some crazed Namibians will start calling for the exclusion of all athletes of European or foreign descent from representing the country of their birth, internationally.
Yours truly has always supported teams that played fluent entertaining football such as reigning world champions Spain, Germany etc. Well, I’m not so sure anymore, because circumstances bedeviled by an odious skin consciousness and a repugnant racial pride have made me reserve my enlightened position at least for the time being. From now on I am rooting for England.
Black footballers doing duty at the ongoing 2012 European Championships have been subjected to all kinds of inhumane treatment through racist taunts, while being told in no uncertain terms that they have entered a sacred territory – reserved strictly for white supremacists.
For quite sometime, both FIFA and UEFA appear to be paying lip service when it comes to dealing with racism in football, but seem to be toothless when it comes to decisive action.
Racism is rearing its ugly head everywhere it would appear. While it may be premature to attribute this to the troubles experienced in the Euro zone countries, it would not hurt to watch for signs as that crisis unfolds.
Suffice it to say at this stage that this malaise threatens to derail the progress of the beautiful game and the friendship of all peoples in the world who love this game. The burning issue of racism has been a sad case at the 2012 European Championships and unless something drastic is done – football will be the ultimate loser.
England has taken the lead in dealing decisively with racism in football and the large army of black players among its playing personnel bears testimony to that. Any form of racism in English football is dealt with promptly. The Louis Suarez and John Terry incidents are a case in point.
Football is a much-sought-after product and can only become the ultimate deal if it has the likes of Mario Balloteli, Theo Walcot, Danny Welbeck, Ashley Cole, Nani and Karim Benzema as ingredients.
The reaction of UEFA President Michel Platini, to Balloteli’s legitimate and justifiable threat to walk off the pitch if anybody dared throw a banana at him during a match was indeed shocking, to say the least.
The fact that those found guilty of racism are, more often than not, merely sent to Coventry by UEFA is a serious cause of concern and raises suspicion whether European football bosses are really genuine in their professed desire to rid football of racism. I rest my case.