Delfouneso: There’s no place in football for racists

Nathan Delfouneso
Nathan Delfouneso
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NATHAN Delfouneso says it’s about time football stood up to racists.

The Blackpool striker was in England’s U21 side for the game away to Serbia which ended in chaos on Tuesday.

England’s black players were taunted throughout and, following a last-minute winner by Connor Wickham, many of the young stars were caught up in a brawl with Serbian players and supporters.

Blackpool’s Tom Ince played the whole match, while team-mate Delfouneso was substituted in the final minute.

And striker Delfouneso said: “There’s no place for scenes like that in football. We just don’t want it.

“Obviously as a black player, hearing the things that were being chanted made it difficult.

“It’s something which no person – whether they are playing football, at work or just in the street – should have to go through.

“Even in the warm-up we could hear the chants and it wasn’t very nice.

“You do still find racism in football. The quicker we can get it out of the game, the better. It’s hurtful.

“No-one should have to go through it, not on a football pitch, not anywhere. Hopefully we can come up with a way of kicking it out of football for good.”

A number of high-profile incidents have brought the issue back into the headlines.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was last season banned for eight matches for racial abuse, while John Terry recently received a four-match ban.

And 21-year-old Delfouneso, who is on a season-long loan from Aston Villa, added: “The authorities need to become consistent with their punishments.

“It’s not good that one player may get one punishment and another will get less or more.

“They need to be consistent with how it’s dealt with. They need to send a message out that it shouldn’t be tolerated.

“Racism should not be happening in football in this day and age. That’s the message we have to get out there.

“Football should set an example for the rest of society.

“In Serbia, some of our players had things thrown at them during the game. That shouldn’t be seen 
anywhere, let alone on a football pitch.”