The Italian Football Association, has once again shown that they are not worried about the growing issue of racism in Serie A, and combating the menace. The Association rather than nip the issue in the bud, they are rather fueling it, as the launch of an anti-racism campaign using images of monkeys, is nothing but a huge slap in the faces of these players who have suffered abuse on and off the pitch, and the black race in general.
The embarrassing anti-racism campaign by Serie A where blacks are depicted as monkeys, according to the report by BBC, comes three weeks after Serie A clubs pledged to combat Italian football’s “serious problem”.
The ‘No To Racism’ anti-racism campaign posters show three monkeys with painted faces.
The monkey artwork will be displayed at Serie A headquarters in Milan.
“Once again Italian football leaves the world speechless. It is difficult to see what Serie A was thinking, who did they consult?” said anti-discriminatory body Fare.
“In a country in which the authorities fail to deal with racism week after week, Serie A have launched a campaign that looks like a sick joke.
“These creations are an outrage, they will be counter-productive and continue the dehumanisation of people of African heritage.
“It is time for the progressive clubs in the league to make their voice heard.”
BBC in their report, also added that European football expert James Horncastle criticised Serie A for the anti-racism campaign posters.
“Question for the league is how they can’t see what a loaded and misguided collaboration this is for an anti-racism initiative,” he said.
“If you wondered why a select group of Serie A clubs are taking anti-racism into their own hands, faith in the league is sub-zero.”
At a news conference on Monday, artist Simone Fugazzotto, who always uses monkeys in his work, said:
“For an artist, there is nothing more important than trying to change the perception of things through his own work.
“I decided to portray monkeys to talk about racism because they are the metaphor for human beings. Last year I was at the stadium to see Inter v Napoli [a match in which Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was racially abused] and I felt humiliated, everyone was shouting ‘monkey’ at Koulibaly, a player I respect.
“I‘ve always been painting monkeys for five to six years, so I thought I’d make this work to teach that we’re all apes, I made the western monkey with blue and white eyes, the Asian monkey with almond-shaped eyes and the black monkey positioned in the centre, where everything comes from. The monkey becomes the spark to teach everyone that there is no difference, there is no man or monkey, we are all alike. If anything we are all monkeys.”
Serie A chief executive Luigi de Siervo said: “The League’s commitment against all forms of prejudice is strong and concrete, we know that racism is an endemic and very complex problem, which we will tackle on three different levels; the cultural one, through works like that of Simone; the sporting one, with a series of initiatives together with clubs and players, and the repressive one, thanks to collaboration with the police,” the BBC report added.
The likes of Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, Smalling, Brescia’s Mario Balotelli and others have all suffered from racial abuse this season, but nothing has been done to punish the fans and both the clubs that continue to allow such behaviours. Also, players around the world should boycott all games this weekend to protest this senseless campaign!