The efforts of FIFA to curb racism in football, which has resulted in the setting up of a task force to look at all aspects of the menace has been commended as being the right step in the right direction.
Ayotunde Adelakun, a renowned African football journalist and Director of African Football’s Hall of Fame, has lauded FIFA President and Hall of Fame member Sepp Blatter for taking the matter seriously.
“We know that FIFA frowns at anything that tarnishes the image of the game worldwide, and they have done a good job so far”, Adelakun said, “And looking seriously into the issue of racism is very good”.
Adelakun made particular mention of the drafting of Kevin Prince-Boateng of AC Milan into the task force headed by CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb as a very positive move.
“I am happy that FIFA President Blatter made the move to listen to Kevin Prince-Boateng on this issue”, he said, stating “it is very important that all parties should be represented in this task of eradicating racism in our football.
“Players who are at the receiving end of racist abuse are crucial here, because they would be able to express how they really felt when abuse was being hauled at them. Other people that should be listened to and incorporated in this assignment are fans (who are generally the perpetrators of this act), as well as clubs, federations and confederations”, Adelakun said.
In his opinion, Africa’s football bodies, particularly CAF, should be represented on this task force as the organisation representing the interests of majority of the players who are the subject of racist abuse and threats.
“Kevin Prince-Boateng was the pace-setter here, but we have had others before him. Samuel Eto’o once tried to walk off the pitch in his days as a Barcelona player at Zaragoza as far back as 6 years ago. It is a brave thing to do, and I commend them for it. I only hope that FIFA, through Jeffrey Webb, would take the views of more of these guys to see how it really feels. A lot needs to be done, and I hope CAF would be called upon to make representation at this taskforce that is seeking a permanent solution to the ugly side of our beautiful game”, he concluded.