The legendary Diego Maradona has expressed the controversial view that top teams in football favour players because they are “white”.
Reports of offensive chants and gestures coming from the fans in the stands are commonplace in European countries like Italy, Spain, Russia, France, Germany, Russia and others.
Racism is a big problem in Spain as well, with major stars such as Samuel Eto’o, Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry and Dani Alves known to have faced racist chants from the crowd. In Italy, the likes of Ruud Gullit, Paul Ince, Adriano, Mario Balotelli, Nigel De Jong, and Kevin Prince Boateng have had to face racist chants and gestures from the crowd.
While the clubs and the individuals are regularly slapped with fines on most occasions, Maradona’s allegations pin the blame directly upon the top clubs, as he says that many players do not get the recognition that they deserve because they are not “white”.
“Racism still exists in football. The white players are always favoured over black players – and that is a disgrace,” Maradona said to Piuenne TV [via Sport].
He even goes on to cite the example of Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, saying that the Senegal international would have made the Real Madrid or Barcelona squad had he been white.
“If Koulibaly was white he would be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona,” said Maradona.
Racism more rampant when it comes to appointing managers
A recent report done by the AFP brought to light the fact that the European football clubs are very much guilty of not hiring black managers. In fact, the study revealed that none of the top flight clubs in England, Spain, France, Italy or Germany have a black coach.
This statistic is quite astounding, as a number of players from the African ethnic origin have gone on to become great stars in the world of football. The records show that black ex-football players are widely accepted as TV pundits, but when it comes to coaching the clubs simply seem to turn a blind eye even if they have the same coaching licenses.