Players might boycott 2018 FIFA World Cup because of racism

by lm13 on October 28, 2014 - 7:06pm

The article "Yaya Touré: players could boycott 2018 World Cup in Russia over racism" by Stuart James on the Huffington Post on October 24, 2014 explains why some soccer players might be inclined to boycott the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia due to racism in this country. Yaya Touré is a black soccer player who is apart of the Manchester City soccer team. He brought up the possibility of this boycott after fans of the opposing team racially abused him during a game facing Manchester City to CSKA Moscow. Even though the CSKA Moscow has been sanctioned by the Union of European Football association for their fans' actions, the soccer club keeps denying that their was any racism behavior of any kind and Seydou Doumbia, a player for CSKA, even said that Touré is exaggerating. However, even if the Russian club keeps denying what happen, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organizing Committee released a statement mentioning that racism will not be tolerated in the world of soccer and that when the World Cup will take place in Russia in 2018, players from all around the world will be celebrated.


In all honesty, I agree with Touré's response to the CSKA's fans who reportedly racially abused him. He has the right to refuse to participate in an event where he will be disrespected in such ways. Of course, as a soccer fan myself, I would be disappointed to see many great players boycott the World Cup, but I think this is what needs to be done if these racist acts keep on happening.  I find it unfortunate that to this day, fans attack players because of their skin color. I don't understand the point of it. When trying to bother players from the other team, fans should strictly stay away from disrespectful comments. Moreover, whether it is to protect their team or they are simply blind to these racist actions by their fans, the CSKA Moscow staff and players seem to accept these actions by denying them and defending their fans' wrongdoing. As a matter of fact, Touré's friend and teammate at the international level as well as a black player for the CSKA Moscow, Seydou Doumbia, said that Touré was exaggerating, which really surprised me. When I read this comment, I felt like in some way, Doumbia was "attacking" Touré himself by saying that he has the facts wrong and in some ways that he is lying. To come back to the 2018 FIFA World Cup that will take place in Russia, I think that boycotting this event would be a good way to make a point and help stop racism not only in Russia, but worldwide. Also, I greatly respect Yaya Touré for standing up to racism, talking about it and standing firm on his opinion.


James, Stuart. Yaya Touré: players could boycott 2018 World Cup in Russia over racism. The Guardian. Retrieved October 27, 2014 from


The article you wrote sparked my attention the minute I read the title and upon reading further really intrigued me. I've been a soccer fan since I was a small boy and I had heard about the incident involving Yaya Touré and it was disappointing to hear about. I always believed that in professional sports that there should be a decent level of respect amount players and fans, although even here with the Habs we aren't the most respectful. This level of respect should at least not involve any form of racism as a basis since FIFA is a world event involving a countless amount of countries around the globe. Although it hurts to say, it seems that the fans in this case felt that the only way to offend and throw Yaya of his game would be to directly insult his skin color and physical appearance. The incident discussed here also reminds me of an incident that happened about a month ago at another soccer game between Serbia and Algeria during a European Championship qualifier. What had happened was that a drone carrying the Algerian flag was flown onto the field and a Serbian player had tried to remove the flag and this ended up causing a huge riot between the two sides and a few fans. (You can read more about at: Nonetheless, I’m glad that the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Local Organizing Committee decided to release a statement where they condoned any racism at the upcoming event. It’s a small step which won’t have much impact, but at least it’s a step. More will have to be done but it’s obvious with your article that once someone of a superior class runs out of ways of attacking someone else the next step is to discriminate against them because of their skin color and race. It doesn’t get any ‘lower’ than that in my opinion.

When I saw the title of your article, it directly grabbed my attention because I am a big soccer fan. I usually know every major news about soccer, whether about the players or about the big events like tournaments. But I was not aware that some players like Yaya Touré want to boycott the 2018 FIFA World Cup, I did not hear about it. Moreover, I was aware about the issue of racism perpetrated towards Black people in the Russian soccer league. In my class, I have learned that intersectionality is the intersection of multiple forms of oppression, discrimination, or prejudice that reinforce and support one another. Being a man and also a member of a racial minority (Black, Latino, Arabs and ect...) can place this person at the target of intersectionality and marginalization. Here is an article that talks about eradicating intersectionality in a college campus The Russian government should the same about its citizens and he should sensitize them that having a racist mentality is a degrading way of thinking.

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