•A series of racist incidents have tainted European soccer recently with Inter’s Lukaku and Brescia’s Balotelli subjected to racist insults from rival fans.
•Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport used the headline ‘Black Friday’ along with pictures of Lukaku and AS Roma’s Chris Smalling to preview a game,
Former Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure says he has discussed the growing problem of racism in soccer with the sport’s world governing body Fifa and blamed the issue on fans being “more stupid than before”.
A series of racist incidents have tainted European soccer recently with Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and Brescia’s Mario Balotelli subjected to racist insults from rival fans during Serie A matches in Italy this season.
Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport used the headline ‘Black Friday’ along with pictures of Lukaku and AS Roma’s Chris Smalling to preview a game, while Serie A chief Luigi De Siervo apologised for artwork featuring apes in its anti-racism campaign.
“Fans, people, now are more stupid than before. Of course it’s shocking because we’re in 2019,” Toure told reporters in Doha, where he is attending the Club World Cup. “I’ve had a chat with Fifa because this is very important. “It will be difficult because the way to win this case is going to be long.”
Meanwhile, Fifa has received nine bids for the commercial rights to the new expanded 24-team Club World Cup which will be held in China in 2021. “Up until yesterday, we had nine offers, which is more than I expected. It shows there is great commercial interest,” Fifa President Gianni Infantino told reporters yesterday. The rights packages will allow companies to secure sponsorship, advertising and television broadcast and media deals on behalf of Fifa.
The current seven-team Club World Cup, consisting of the champions of the continental confederations, concludes on Saturday with the final between European champions Liverpool and Brazil’s Flamengo. Elsewhere, World soccer body FIFA banned the former president of Panamanian football Ariel Alvarado for life on Thursday and fined him 500,000 Swiss francs ($510,300) after finding him guilty of bribery.
Alvarado was investigated in relation to matches organised by the Panamanian Football Association as well as contracts for Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) media and marketing rights between 2009 and 2011.
The adjudicatory chamber of Fifa’s independent Ethics Committee said it had imposed the ban on Alvarado, a former FIFA standing committee member, with immediate effect.