Racism is currently one of the most glaring issues people around the globe are facing, and unfortunately, football isn’t immune to this disease. The Premier League witnessed a number of incidents involving that kind of disgusting behaviour last season, and not for the first time; not by a long shot.
But the fact that this problem isn’t contained within the boundaries of a country perhaps becomes slightly clearer after Arsenal loanee, 20-year-old defender Jordi Osei-Tutu suffered racial abuse in what was supposed to be a friendly game between VfL Bochum, the club he joined for a year, and Swiss side St Gallen.
St Gallen took the lead right before the half time, and following the goal, Osei-Tutu got involved in an altercation with Sliman Kchouk, the player who had scored it. He then communicated to the referee what had happened strongly, before walking off the pitch. It took some time for him to recompose himself sufficiently to be able to continue playing.
In light of what happened, both Bochum and Arsenal reacted and strongly condemned such behaviour.
The Gunners released the following statement:
“Last night Jordi Osei-Tutu received unacceptable racial abuse playing for VfL Bochum during a pre-season friendly match against Swiss club St Gallen. We are working closely with Bochum and Jordi and we are giving him our full support.
“Racism has no place in our game and we do not tolerate any form of discrimination.”
Osei-Tutu himself added:
“I am very disappointed about what happened. No one should ever be subject to any discrimination and it is really hard to understand how a fellow professional footballer could do this.
“Arsenal and Bochum have provided great support to me and I hope that if nothing else, we can show that racism has no place within football.”
And while Bochum indeed gave their full support to the young defender, St Gallen, though publicly condemning all forms of discrimination, revealed that their player denies the accusation and that they stand behind him on the matter.
A part of their statement read:
“Our players have a respectful relationship with each other, regardless of origin, skin colour or religion.
“In a clarifying conversation with the managers, the player concerned credibly assured that he had also adhered to this club principle yesterday in the match against VfL Bochum.” (Quotes via the Independent)
The truth needs to be established beyond doubt quickly, and if the player of the Swiss team truly resorted to racial abuse, he needs to be punished in accordance with the severity of his actions, which means as severely as possible.