‘Maybe we are alone’: Jude Bellingham questions whether authorities ‘care’ about racist abuse directed at Black footballers.
Jude Bellingham spent 24 years as the England football captain. A former World Cup winner, he was also World Soccer’s leading goal scorer, with 40 goals. A man who once told a reporter he had to ‘turn down’ every call on the subject of racism, Bellingham now says that his former teammates and the officials who control the game have never seemed to care about his claims.
This has been hard to grasp, but I have been talking with a former player who used to stand on the touchline whenever football came. He said it is quite different now and said the football authorities care more about the national team and the world’s best player than they do about a small band of people who have made some very good claims that racism is a problem in English football.
A spokesman for the Football Association said it did not take the issue of racism “lightly.” His words might as well be a punch in the face. “The FA is committed to dealing with this subject and this type of situation robustly and we have worked with UEFA and the England and Wales Football Board to address this situation,” said the spokesman.
Football and the FA have got a problem. Bellingham did. He is now, as I am, writing to express his dismay at what appears to be a denial of racism. His claim that it is not an issue in British football is backed up by my former teammate, a man whose claim to fame is having led England to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He said: “I don’t get why they do it. They have never really got me talking, and I’m asking a lot of questions I wouldn’t if this was just about people giving a kick to a few people at the top.
“I hear the arguments over and over again, but if it’s just an issue of a few people giving a kick to certain people, then does it not matter to those people that are doing it? Is it just that they are enjoying it with their friends, and they can’t be bothered to have