Racist incidents in football again this weekend
20 December 2021
Racist incidents were reported again during football matches in Germany, Belgium and England. The three incidents have two things in common: first, the perpetrators are football fans, and second, the football clubs condemned the behaviour of their supporters.
In Germany, referee Nicolas Winter took the problem a step further and decided to stop the match between MSV Duisburg and VfL Osnabrück, from the Third Division, once he realized that a racist abuse was taking place. As Fare reported, this is the first time in German professional football in which a match is cancelled because of such an incident.
MSV Duisburg v. VfL Osnabrück in the German third division became the first professional match in Germany to be abandoned in response to racism today.— Fare (@farenet) December 19, 2021
The referee pulled the teams off in the 33rd minute, after a warning, the players did not return.https://t.co/dJnbb2qnNi
On the other hand, the other two matches affected by racism abuse were not cancelled. In England, Arsenal footballer Rob Holding reported to the officials that his teammates were being racially abused, after he heard racist comments from Leeds United fan, who is under investigation. The media is praising Holding’s response and calling to action to other allies in the fight against racism.
Rob Holding showed what it means to be an ally 👏— Kick It Out (@kickitout) December 20, 2021
We send our solidarity and support to all those impacted by the racist abuse reported at Elland Road over the weekend. https://t.co/45yIqZDLxd
In Belgium, Anderlecht coach Vincent Kompany reported that he and other members of his team had been racially abused throughout the match against Club Brugge. The club has responded condemning the supporters terrible actions. Club Brugge has been a partner of Show Racism the Red Card Europe and has been actively educating kids and adults on prevention of discrimination of any kind, including racism.
While in the past we have seen racist abuse coming directly from football players, coaches and referees, it has been the fans who have been reported at a higher rate in the last months. This shows that education is helping within the football clubs, but further steps are required to reach to fans to stop discrimination in football.