Ex-Hibs star Marvin Bartley calls for players to walk off in face of racial abuse
The former Hibs star, now assistant manager of Livingston, believes enough is enough and the only way things are going to change is for players to hit the governing bodies where it hurts them most – in their pocket.
The 35-year-old, who was appointed as Scottish FA Equality Advisor earlier this year, believes the likes of Uefa and Fifa simply haven’t done enough to eradicate the problem from football as he accused them of a dereliction of duty over the care of the players.
The midfielder was speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain after English players were subjected to racial abuse during their World Cup qualifier in Hungary.
He said: “You have to walk off the pitch. The way you hit them where it hurts is by walking off the pitch when you are racially abused and leaving one team out there.
“Uefa and Fifa for a long, long time we’ve hoped that they’ve handed down sanctions that have been firm enough and have been a deterrent and they just haven’t done it.
“They’ve spoken about Show Racism the Red Card and No to Racism and any discriminative messages coming from fans but when it comes to the fines it doesn’t show that.
“So now it is time to walk off the pitch because it will hit them where it hurts.
“Broadcasters pay a lot of money to broadcast these games, sponsors pay a lot of money to sponsor these games. Who’s going to want to sponsor or broadcast a game that after 20 minutes if someone is racially abused, the team are going to walk off the pitch?
“At the end of the day, Fifa and Uefa are out there to make sure football is a safe place for everybody. At this moment in time it’s not a safe place.
“Now it’s time for footballers, because we are the product at the end of the day, let’s take matters into our own hands.
“Who’s going to want to watch a game where there’s only one team on the pitch? Who’s going to want to sponsor a game when after 20 minutes someone’s been racially abused and the other team walk off?”
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