Racism in European Football: Global Campaigns to Eliminate Racism Essay

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Football as it is know outside North America (Soccer) is among the most ubiquitous and beloved sport in the world. The worldwide audience for the FIFA World Cup typically exceeds 1 billion, and hundreds of thousands of spectators flock to watch their countries team participate. One of the fundamental concerns surrounding the game today revolves around the prolonged occurrence of racism, especially racial abuse to players by fans. Omi and Winant (1994) have identified, elements of racism with a strong correlation relating to sport, such as ‘temperament, athletic ability and sexuality.
Given its recent history of anti-racist activity, English football is often cited as a figurehead example of challenging racism through popular culture and encouraging ethnic minority participation. (Garland, and Rowe, 2001) Although the growing example of black players in the professional game in England has greatly risen over the last decade, there is still increasing concern. With 568 players competing in the English Premier League (EPL) 183 black, 379 white and eight Asian, of all the players 32.22 percent are black. Of the 232 English players in the EPL 80 are black, a small 34.47 percent considering the EPL is the largest and wealthiest league in the world (Omi & Winant, 1994). Players from ethnic minority backgrounds are rarely represented in the English game and yet the biggest target for racial descent. In the other parts of the football industry, particularly in coaching and managerial positions or roles with real power and authority we don’t see genuine ethnical diversity.
Nowadays clashes between elite powerhouse teams are subject to extensive media coverage: footage of events replayed frame by frame, in context of a constant media envir...

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..., 2014. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. .

Omi, Michael, and Howard Winant. Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990. London: Routledge, 1994.

Rawlinson, A. (2009). Stand Up ! Speak Up. The Story 2005-2009. King Baudouin Foundation, n/a. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from

Rowe, M., & Garland, J. (2012). Paying the price? Why football still has a problem. Criminal Justice Matters, 88(1), 30-31.
Souvik Naha (2013) Race, ethnicity and football: persisting debates and emergent issues, Soccer & Society, 14:4, 569-572, DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2013.791574

1., accessed 16th April 2014
2. See:, accessed 16th April 2014.

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