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The issue now is if Wales ‘don't’ walk off the pitch ...
Friday, 8th Oct 2021 09:00 by Gruff Stephens

Swansea City led the way last season with a social media lockdown in response to numerous players at the club being abused and victimised by cowardly posts on all mediums of the Internet. The story went worldwide, bar of course certain media who chose not to report it, and now Robert Page is stating his Wales side will walk off the pitch if the same treatment occurs tonight in Prague.

Surprisingly the Wales On Line ‘have’ decided this is a news story and have reported the fact that Robert Page has stated his side will leave the pitch if they become the victims of racist abuse. More legitimate news media such as Sky Sports have quoted him as saying "If action needs to be taken we absolutely will do that as a group. We won't stand for it and there will be zero tolerance for any racial abuse." For that we commend Robert Page, and his staff and team for actually talking about the potential circumstances in Prague tonight.

Bearing in mind that three hundred thousand Czech nationals were killed during Nazi occupation in World War Two. It is extremely difficult to understand that tonight in Prague would be anything other than a celebration of those brave lives lost at the hands of hate and murder because of who they are. In fact it’s shocking to the core we are even discussing it. Just a few miles north of Prague at Terezin, a Nazi death camp and holding point for hundreds of thousands of Jews in World War Two, memories are still raw. The deaths of nearly thirty four thousand Czech nationals at Terezin, mainly through hunger and disease at the hands of the German army is even more shocking. And lets make no bones about it, Dress it up as you like, they were Europeans just like we all are, and those atrocities shouldn’t be hidden behind the word ‘Nazi’ Let’s not forget that. The apologies and excuses have worn far too thin.

The issue now isn’t “ oh we might walk off the pitch” the issue now is ‘If you don’t walk off the pitch’ If hatred is the order of the day, why say you will fight it, if you don’t do it ? The authorities that run football have failed time and time again to address nations who have allowed fascism in to their stands, and hatred in to their football associations, These institutions are fined minuscule sums of money, which to us seems they are supporting this display of hate, and merely paying it lip service.

Sparta Prague fans were banned following racist abuse of Monaco's Aurelius Tchouameni in August, but around 10,000 schoolchildren were permitted to attend the Rangers European game recently, and Gers player Kamara - who was on the receiving end of a racist slur from Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela in March - was targeted with what the Scotland's players' union declared as "sickening abuse". It seems the racists are ‘right’ in the thick of Eastern European football institutions, and being allowed to get away with it. The incidents are so often, and so mismanaged by the governing body UEFA we can only assume they too support this behaviour. Not dissimilar to Swansea City’s stance last season when it was generally ignored in Wales but managed to be sports headlines from Chicago to Melbourne. It’s very odd. And very revealing.

Sparta Prague fans greet their side with Nazi salutes

Wales have five identifiable players of colour in their squad, Ben Cabango, Ethan Ampadu, Tyler Roberts, Brennan Johnson and Sorba Thomas. Refreshingly Page stated "If action needs to be taken we absolutely will do that as a group. We won't stand for it and there will be zero tolerance for any racial abuse. We will take the knee because that's what we think is the right message to continue to show. How the crowd react, we can't influence that. But what we will do is conduct ourselves in the right and proper manner. We know as a group what's acceptable and what's not."

We genuinely hope that if racist abuse is heard and witnessed tonight that Wales set the bench mark for stopping this intolerable and cowardly attempt to discriminate and create division in our game. It doesn’t matter what the score in the game is, and the apologists for racist behaviour continually use this as a fall back or excuse for a team to walk off the pitch.The supporters of hate are disgusting, they are sad and deserve the contempt they receive and deserve.

Tonight Robert Page our message is this, if our national side is the victim of racist abuse, hold your head up high, lead our players from the pitch and let’s set a precedent, because UEFA have failed, so now it’s our turn to take the game back. We are not at the stage of refusing to play against these nations with hate filled supporters just yet, but it’s getting very, very close.

Swansea Independent supports any action against racism that stops hate and creates a better future for everyone

If you witness any form of racist abuse or hate in football, click on this link and report it. Do your bit. Kick it out.


Photographs licensed from Reuters

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ReslovenSwan1 added 16:41 - Oct 8
Swansea city is not the bulwark of anti racism this article suggests. The social media ban was a feeble response to racial abuse. Four black and Asian players of Swansea have been abused this season. Two of them have taken it to heart. One local player has been unaffected and brushed it off.

I have a theory that he Swansea .con stadium is a breeding ground and cosy home for racial abuse. This is because anti Welsh racial abuse is routinely heard and tolerated. It is so ingrained in Welsh football culture that it is not even considered a crime. I have pointed out it is a crime with at least two convictions for "aggravated racial disorderly conduct" that i have found on the internet. It has a precedent in law.

If you accept Sheep slurs are acceptable at the Swansea.com stadium or at the Luton stadium it is reasonable to assume for an intellectually challenged teenager the transition from Sheep abuse (notionally acceptable) to monkey abuse is a small transition.

I merely put forward the idea that sheep slurs belong in the same family of abuse and monkey slurs. On the face of it an obscene concept designed to insult and dehumanise. Exactly what racists have been doing for centuries. This is a difficult concept for Swansea fans and the Swansea club as fans of club have been tolerating and actually participating in this abuse for decades. Iti it a coincidence that Swansea has a much higher average of abuse against its black and Asian players as any other English football team? FOUR cases. Only the England national team can compete with the abuse of its three penalty kick takers.

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