Bafana Bafana Legend Siyabonga Nomvethe Talks About Racist Abuse He Experienced in Italy

Bafana Bafana Legend Siyabonga Nomvethe Talks About Racist Abuse He Experienced in Italy

Keba Mothoagae
  • The story of African footballers being subjected to racist abuse in Europe is as old as time in football
  • Former South African international player Siyabonga Nomvethe has opened up about his experience with the scourge
  • Nomvethe played in Italy, where racism in the country's football is as common as the sun rising

Racism will probably never go away in football even if progress is made to eradicate it.

Many African footballers have been subjected to this scourge on their travels in Europe.

siyabonga nomvethe
Bafana Bafana Legends Siyabonga Nomvethe Talks About Racism He Experienced in Italy
Source: Getty Images

TimesLIVE reported that former Bafana Bafana striker Siyabonga Nomvethe about his experiences in Italy.

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Nomvethe, who played for Udinese, Salernitana and Empoli, said:

“Especially when I was in Italy, there was that thing of racism. They call you a monkey when they like and some threw bananas. It happened to me in a game we played against Chievo.
“One of their players said something stupid related to racism but I didn’t know because it was in Italian and I didn’t understand the language at that time. One of my teammates noticed what they were saying and started fighting them.
“He asked them how they could call me by such a name because I am a human being like them. That player who was saying those things was playing for the national team of Italy and he was a top striker.
“In that game there were seven red cards and it was a big issue. When you are playing in the Champions League and Europa League, you go to those places where, when you have the ball, they make monkey chants or thrown banana skins to the ground.

Nomvethe represented South Africa at the 2002 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, scoring a famous goal against Slovenia in South Korea. He is also the Premier Soccer League's all-time leading goalscorer with 123 goals.

He is currently an assistant coach at Amazulu.

Brazil Football Association angrily react to Richarlison's racist abuse during Tunisia friendly

Brazil's Football Association has slammed the racist abuse of forward Richarlison after bananas were thrown at the striker during the friendly against Tunisia on Tuesday.

As reported by Sports Brief, the Tottenham forward suffered the abuse after celebrating his goal on the night at the Parc des Princes. In a statement released on Twitter, the Brazilian FA condemned the act and reinforced their stance against racism.

The Brazilian FA president, Ednaldo Rodrigues also blasted the people behind the incident, stating equality transcends race and religion. Raphinha netted a brace as Brazil thrashed Tunisia 5-1 in their final friendly ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.