Football! What comes to your mind after hearing this word?
Yeah, the feeling is mutual. This is a game which brings millions and billions of people together. For many, it is as good as a religion.
Football is rapidly becoming the most followed sport across the Globe. Some people call it Soccer, some call it Football, but the name hardly matters, it’s about the game. A game which is a matter of life and death for some and for some it’s even more than that. Introduction of Club football has led to a rapid increase in the fan following of different teams, players as well as coaches and managers.
There have been many events in the past and sadly even in now which have sown seeds of racism.
The current highlight came in after claims by Patrice Evra and Anton Ferdinand and I found it pretty hard to believe that in we still witness such things especially in a league where there personalities from all over the globe with different cultural backgrounds and races play season in season out.
I think about two things when I define racism in football. First being a 1994 world cup goal scored against Belgium and second being a ITV show titled “World Cup’s Greatest Goals”
A certain number 10 here runs probably as far as the other two more famous number 10’s put together.
He goes in scores one of the best goals in World Cup History.
Where this goal was placed in the TOP 50 countdown was a bit hard to digest. But yes the jury had their opinion and but this goal never got the appreciation it deserved. I can figure out only one reason WHY?
I remember when I saw that goal again with an old fellow he kept on saying
“He’s just running with the ball; He don’t know what he is doing, Yeah, He’s just running with the ball……ummm (a pause) How’s he done that”
For me that was the goal of the very highest quality; Goal of the tournament and undoubtedly one of the greatest goal in World Cup History.
This might not be racism in true sense of the word; But we can’t run away from the fact that this goal would have been much talk about if it wasn’t scored by a footballer from Saudi Arabia.
Racism can come in so many forms and even the underlying causes may differ. It may be hate, anger, heat of the moment or anything that affects an individual enough to say and act racist.
Racism which fans face is a bit different from that of the players. Fans share a love hate relationship with the locals.
As we know Football is globally followed and at a large level, whenever a football season begins, for the player begins a new challenge, a new hope, a new dream that they will emerge as a glorious team when the season will end. Whenever a player pulls on the jersey and enters the pitch, there is only one thing on his mind and that is victory and let me remind you, he is not alone, the team is not alone, there are millions of fans out there waiting to see that ball in the back of the Net.
In a stadium there are two sets of Colors, one for each team. The stadium is divided into two half’s, the two colors divides it. But the people present at the stadium forget that among those two colors, there are millions of other colors. Colors in the form of different religions, different castes, different races.
There are fans like me, or you, or others who never got a chance to see their team play live in the stadium, but that does not make us less passionate about our team, about our favorite players. At every kick off, THOUSANDS of eyes are glued on their favorite team, inside the stadium, but MILLIONS of eyes are glued on their TV sets waiting for their team to grab the glory.
I have seen the locals of the respective clubs abusing those who never saw a match live in a stadium, they call us Glory Hunters. Is it really so? Or are they possessive that majority of the fan following of their favorite team is coming from other countries. No one can answer this except them.
So many religions, so many castes, so many races come together for the sake of football. The love, the passion, the belief is equal and mutual. Let’s take an oath that every true football fan would contribute to remove this Cancer of Racism from Football. This game is suffering from a disease of racism, the medicine is, Respect and Love for the fans around the Globe. No fan is inferior, each one of them carries a passion for their respective team, and to divide them on the base of Region/Religion is against this Beautiful game.
Football made this world a Global Village; let’s behave like local villagers rather than using ‘Mine’ and ‘Yours’ and creating boundaries among us.
It’s not about you being white or you being black;
It’s not about you being a United fan or you being a Milan fan;
It’s about you being HUMAN and you being a FOOTBALL FAN.
Football will take you closer to Heaven, Racism would take you closer to hell, the choice is yours. Whether you belong to those two colors or the millions.