PETALING JAYA: Veteran coach B. Sathianathan (pic) can vouch that it’s not only the players who are targets for racial abuse.
Sathianathan, who now handles Selangor, says he’s had his fair share with some of them coming from their own fans.
“We have been an independent nation for almost 62 years, and yet we have people who still differentiate us by colour,” said Sathianathan.
The coach then cites his former player Antonio German from Grenada as an example.
“When German was playing for us at the beginning of the season, he was called all kinds of degrading names,” said the former national team coach.
“He has played in many countries, and he said playing in Malaysia is the worst. He can’t believe that just because he had one bad game, he was vilified by Selangor’s fans.
“We talked about people being treated poorly overseas but it’s happening on our shores too. The lack of education in respecting every race and religion is evident.
“We need to start teaching this in schools.”
Sathianathan, who is the Malaysian Football Coaches Association (MFCA) president, said clubs should also monitor and moderate fans’ comments on social media.
National coach Tan Cheng Hoe has urged the players to come forward and make their voices heard if they want it to stop.
“I know the Malaysia Football League have a banner for every match day. Maybe the players should step forward and campaign against racism,” said Cheng Hoe.
“Fans follow the players, and I’m sure they would listen to what a player has to say about racism. Do a campaign with the players.”