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Sports News of Saturday, 21 September 2019


Stephen Appiah opens up on racism in world football

Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah

Former Ghana and Juventus midfielder Stephen Appiah has opened into the problem of racism in world football.

Appiah says the behaviour of players on the pitch has also contributed to the issue of racial abuse from fans.

The 38-year-old spent 11-years in Italy playing for Udinese, Parma, Brescia, Bologna, and Cesena.

Racism has seen a major issue in football and football governing bodies around the world, including Fifa, have launched several educational initiatives.

However, the issue still persists in the various stadia on matchdays.

"I don't think that it's going to end because it has been there for years," said he told Class FM.

"At times, I sit back and ask questions [about] why it [didn't] happen to me.

"Most of the time, the fans don't do that [abuse] deliberately but do that when they see that the player is arrogant or the player behaves in a certain way. Through jealousy or envy, the [fans] just come and attack you.

"Or when they know that you're a good player, they'll just attack you to distract you from [happenings on] the pitch."

The most recent incident was the reported abuse of Inter Milan's striker Romelu Lukaku during an Italian Serie A clash with Cagliari earlier this month.

"I think that's what they [parents] teach their children at home because I don't know why a 10 or 12-year-old boy (or girl) will come to the stadium or will see a black person on the street and behave in a certain way," he added.

"That means it's not [merely the children's doing]; it's their parents who put that thing in their minds.

"We've been talking about racism. Fifa, Caf have all involved themselves heavily but still, it's not going away.

"We hope that one day, it will go."

Presently, Appiah is the technical coordinator for Black Stars of Ghana.