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Racism in Soccer
Transcript of Racism in Soccer
Born Mario Barwuah, he was put into foster care at age 3 due to health complications his family was unable to provide for
Mario was eventually adopted and raised by Francesco and Silvia Balotelli, whose surname he took at a later age
He began playing soccer as a youth, and at age 17 debuted for the Italian team Inter Milan
At age 18, Balotelli was granted Italian Citizenship
Balotelli went on to become the first black player on the Italian National Team without any Italian blood and only the third black player to ever play for the team.
Racism During Time with AC Milan
Milan v. Roma: Match suspended due to racist slurs aimed at Balotelli.
Paolo Berlusconi, brother of AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, calls Balotelli "the family's little n*****."
Inter v. Milan: Inter fans wave inflatable bananas at Balotelli.
“I cannot bear racism, it’s unacceptable for me. If it had happened again I would straight away leave the pitch and go home. We are in 2012. It can’t happen …"
Cameron Simpson, Morgan Wang,
Seamus Fitzpatrick, Tom Santinelli
Racism In Soccer
Kevin Prince Boateng
Joined AC Milan on 17 August 2010 and left for Schalke 04 on 30 August 2013.
He appeared in 74 games, scoring 10 goals, and played a pivotal role in AC Milan's three consecutive UEFA Champions League appearances.
Born to a Ghanaian father and German mother
Grew up in the slums of Berlin
Showed promise as a child and debuted for Hertha Berlin in 2005 (age 18)
Attempts to Stop
Toleration of racist chants at matches make racism more tolerable in Italian Culture
Thus, attempts to stop the racism of the Italian Ultras need to be put forth
FIFA and UEFA have begun to institute harsher penalties for racism as it grows as an issue
Prevalence of Racist Abuse
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) reported that there have been 50 incidents of racist abuse over the last six years.
All told, in Italian football, 5 million dollars have been handed out in fines for racist abuse.
However, according to Italy's Observatory on Racism and Anti-Racism in Football, there have been over 660 incidents of racist abuse since 2000.
These hardcore Italian football fans resort to racist remarks in order to distract opposition players
They hold up racist banners and yell racist chants during matches
They have been warned by referees and have even caused games to stop
Boateng famously walked off the pitch in a friendly with a local team in Busto Arsizio, Pro Patria after being bombarded with monkey chants.
He has since left Milan to join the German club Schalke because he no longer wanted to deal with the Italian racism.
FIFA reported that there are 265 million active soccer players, 4% of the world's population
Soccer has also become a huge part of the world economy, with FIFA having reserves over 1.2 billion dollars
It's key that FIFA and soccer keep a pristine reputation on the world stage
That reputation has been marred by the actions of the game's biggest stars, such as Luis Suarez and John Terry.
FIFA has done little to combat this troubling trend, with FIFA's president Sepp Blatter saying in 2011, "there is no racism in soccer."
Many Ultras, such as those for Roma and Lazio, use soccer matches as political tools.
They are neo-facist groups that express their opinions at soccer matches
On 5/11/2013, a black Ghanan named Mada Kabobo went on a rampage in Milan and killed three Italians in public with a pickax.
Three days later, Milan played Roma and the match was suspended due to racism directed at Balotelli.
Balotelli embraces his adopted mother: a symbol of the New Italy
Need for Action Moving Forward
Racism in soccer, especially in Italy, needs to be addressed and punished more harshly than it previously has been.
Until FIFA, Serie A, and individual clubs crack down harder on fans, racism seems to be on track to remain among pockets of hardcore fans at games.
An exodus of talented players, such as Boateng, will only increase if racism persists.