- An English soccer player has told his family not to come to the World Cup, out of fear they would face racist abuse.
- Incidents of racist behaviour from fans have marred Russian soccer.
The World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet and should be a time of celebration for players and their families. Unfortunately, England and Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose felt the need to tell his family not to come to the World Cup in Russia, out of fear that they would be subjected to racist abuse, as he told the Evening Standard.
“I’m not worried for myself,” Rose said. “But I’ve told my family I don’t want them going out there because of racism and anything else that may happen. I don’t want to be worrying when I’m trying to prepare for games for my family’s safety. If anything happens to me, it wouldn’t affect me like it would if my family had been abused. I’m fine with whatever may or may not happen, and I like to think I’ll be able to deal with it in the right way.”
Rose said that his father, in particular, was upset by Rose’s request.
“He said he may never get a chance again to come and watch me in a World Cup. That was emotional, hearing that.”
Rose’s concerns are pretty well-founded, however, as some racist incidents have marred Russian soccer in recently.
Zenit St. Petersburg, one of the country’s biggest clubs, was recently ordered to play its next European game without fans as punishment for abuse fans levied at Naby Keita, who is from Guinea. And the Russian Football Union was recently fined by FIFA for racist chants Russian fans directed at French players during an international match in St. Petersburg. Furthermore, as documented in a lengthy piece in The Guardian, the culture of supporters groups in Russian soccer is deeply intertwined with far-right racist politics.
And as the Evening Standard notes, “Rose is no stranger to racism, having been subjected to monkey chants and hit with stones while on England U-21 duty in Serbia in October 2012.”
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