Barcelona striker Eto’o tells Spain to get a grip on racism


  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 13 Apr 2006

MADRID: Barcelona’s Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o has called on the Spanish game to show “responsibility” in cutting out racism after twice being a victim of racist chanting in recent weeks. 

“Everyone has to take responsibility,” league top scorer Eto’o told Marca sports daily in an interview published on Tuesday. 

Spanish club Racing Santander are facing disciplinary action after some of the top flight strugglers’ fans subjected Eto’o to racist abuse in Sunday’s 2-2 draw. 

In response, Eto’o kicked the corner flag as he went to celebrate a goal. 

Earlier this season, he had threatened to walk off the pitch after some fans at Real Zaragoza directed monkey noises at him. 

Zaragoza were subsequently fined a paltry 9,000 euros by the Spanish Football Federation. 

“I just can’t understand why the fans often behave this way,” said Eto’o. 

“I had to put up with racist chanting right from the start and celebrating a goal that way was better than making an ugly gesture to the crowd as it let out all the anger.” 

Spain’s government last month tabled a bill aimed at clamping down on racism and doping in sport, harmonising its legislation with the EU equivalent, following several outbreaks of racist behaviour at grounds. 

Under a new anti-racism crackdown launched by FIFA last month, offending clubs face a three-point points deduction for a first offence, six for a second and could even be relegated in case of repeated incidents. 

A three-point deduction for Santander would have sent them into the relegation zone but the RFEF are still in the process of adopting the new guidelines. 

Meanwhile, Villarreal’s Brazilian-born naturalised Spanish star Marcos Antonio Senna da Silva, who is black, said he condemned what had happened to Eto’o, while insisting that Spaniards are generally not racist. 

“There are problems of this kind all over the place, Brazil included. But you can’t tar everyone with the same brush. I’ve never been on the end of such chants – and I hope it stays that way.” – AFP 

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