PARIS: Football faces a constant battle to eliminate racism on and off the pitch, UEFA President Michel Platini has said, after a string of recent high-profile incidents tarnished the sport’s image.
The former France captain wrote in the latest edition of the European ruling body’s newsletter that encouraging strides had been made to tackle bigotry and discrimination over the years.
But Platini added in the newsletter: “Appalling incidents continue to blight European stadiums from time to time, showing that the battle is far from won against a scourge that it is virtually impossible to wipe out completely.”
In the English Premier League, for example, there have been a number of allegations of racism both among players and from fans, prompting renewed debate about the extent of the problem.
Platini accepted that football had a hard job in succeeding to eradicate what he called “this evil among certain individuals” that governments and religions had so far not succeeded in eliminating.
But he said that because of the game’s popularity around the world, everyone involved in football should assume the responsibility to set an example. REUTERS