Not to long ago black footballers in the United Kingdom were frequently faced with monkey chants from the terraces and racial abuse from their opponents. Now the problem seems to have been mostly eradicated from the British game and it is not unusual to have a back player in the football league (approximately 25% of professional players are of black origin). The problem might have crept out of the British game but a series of incidents over the past decade throughout Europe suggests the problem is still rife in mainland Europe.

During the 1970s and 1980s in the British Isles footballers from different ethnic backgrounds were abused regularly from members of the crowd making monkey chants, singing racist or anti-semitic songs and also chants closely linked to patriotism. It is believed that this was all linked to far-right groups who seemed to be using football matches to recruit new members and to hand out literature.

Far-right groups like the National Front (NF) used their magazine ‘Bulldog’ to promote competitions amongst fans like for the title of ‘most racist ground in Britain’. Copies of ‘Bulldog’ were openly sold at grounds across the country and clubs like Chelsea, Leeds United, Milwall, Newcastle United, Arsenal and West Ham were seen to have strong fascist elements. After the Heysel stadium disaster in the 1980s, British เว็บแทงบอล National Party leaflets were found on the terraces!

During the 1990s the British government introduced measures to combat racism in football alongside footballs governing bodies as well as at club level, supporter level and organisations like Kick Racism out of Football. The 1990s saw a massive decline in racism in the British game and now football fans will hardly ever hear racist abuse at football stadiums in Britain.

The British authorities and various other parties seem to have grasped hold of the problem and helped to eradicate the minority who use football as a tool to vent racism, but the same can not be said for other European nations. The problem of racism in mainland Europe is being described by some as ‘endemic’. It seems as though some football federations are in denial of the problem even though players, fans and ethnic minorities are abused regularly.

Just like the National Front used to target football grounds in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, neo-nazi and neo-fascist groups are now targeting football grounds around Europe for recruitment. The worst affected clubs are Lazio and Verona in Italy, PSG in France and Real Zaragoza and Real Madrid in Spain. A series of incidents in Southern Europe has highlighted this over the past few years.

By admin