• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Mikel slams English FA for lack of action against racism


Former Nigeria international Mikel Obi has strongly criticised the English Football Association for dismissing his complaints of racism during his playing days at Chelsea.

The enduring problem of racism in football remains a significant issue, with many black players voicing concerns across major leagues such as the Premier League, Serie A, and La Liga.

Most recently, Roma’s Romelu Lukaku spoke out about experiencing racial abuse during a match against Inter Milan in early April.

Similarly, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior has faced racism in La Liga, with the situation escalating this season, prompting an emotional response from the Brazilian forward during a press conference.

Reflecting on these incidents, the former Chelsea midfielder, who spent 11 seasons at Stamford Bridge, believes that authorities have not done enough to address the issue.

Despite raising concerns, including incidents involving referee Mark Clattenburg, Mikel notes a lack of action and evidence to support his claims.

“I get emotional about it, sometimes I say what I’m not supposed to say. But it’s the authorities, they decide. The punishment is nowhere near what they deserve,” Mikel told Al Jazeera.

“We are talking about someone being insulted because you’re a certain colour. We are the same people and the same humans.

“I think a lot more can be done, a lot more should be done, it’s about time. You can’t say you’re looking for some geezer who insulted somebody at one football ground, and you’re gonna ban him for life. That doesn’t change anything, it still goes on. Vinicius, Lukaku have been through things like that.

“When we were playing, I had the same thing as well when we lost games at Chelsea. The club reported it to the FA, but nothing was done, zero was done. We just had to ignore it.

“When I reported to Chelsea, and they reported to the FA, nothing was done, ignored, nothing happened. I had to go back the next weekend, try to put on a smiling face and continue doing my job. That was what it was then.”

Mikel made 372 appearances, contributing 19 goals (five goals, 13 assists) during his time at Chelsea.