UEFA president calls for greater support from Governments to tackle racism

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called for government backing to help football’s fight against racism.

But the Slovenian fears he will struggle because of the rise and influence of right wing regimes across Europe.

Speaking in a hard-hitting UEFA documentary called Outraged: Football Tackles Discrimination, Ceferin said: “UEFA does a lot but it is never enough.

“We have to do more but we need strong support from the governments.

“We have a problem with some governments because they have a problem with discrimination.”

Reflecting on last year’s abuse for England’s players in Bulgaria, Ceferin adds: “It was a terrible situation in that match.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin

“Idiots with their idiotic ideology who use football matches to promote that idiotic ideology.

“We have to do whatever we can to stop it.”

Adding her voice in UEFA’s new film, women’s football superstar Megan Rapinoe said: “We are seeing a rise of right wing nationalism around the world.

“It’s giving a breath of new life to these fans or other people who are like: ‘Oh, I’m not the only one who feels this way.’

“Before Donald Trump it was much more unacceptable to blatantly say racist things. Not that people didn’t feel racist things but people now feel empowered to say so as well.”

The star-studded documentary – which also deals with sexism, homophobia and the treatment of refugees – comes at a time with UEFA investigating an official in the recent Champions League game between PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir.

A comment allegedly made by the official led to both sets of players walking off the pitch and refusing to return.

The doc also includes contributions from Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba, Dutch legend Everton striker Moise Kean, England defender Lucy Bronze, ex-England women’s coach Hope Powell and ex-Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren.

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