Luther Blissett remembers vividly what it was like walking out into an Italian stadium when he played for AC Milan in the early 1980s.
"You walk into a stadium and you literally were the only black face there," recalls the Englishman, who spent just one season with the Italian side. "There would be 40,000, 50,000 people in the stadium but you're the only one, and you're a target for them because you're different."
Many football fans would prefer to believe that such incidents belong to the past. Sadly, they would be mistaken. During a Spanish league match in 2006 for Barcelona against Real Zaragoza, Samuel Eto'o almost walked off the pitch after being taunted by supporters with racist chants, before being persuaded to return by his coach and teammates.
"In that moment you start thinking whether there is something wrong with being black, you know?" Eto'o says. "But I think we are all humans, everyone's blood is the same colour and we all have the same heart."
Two different generations of black players facing the same problem. It seems European football hasn't changed much over the last three decades. Racist abuse is still very much alive in stadiums across the continent, even if it comes from a small minority of fans. Watch former Chelsea player Paul Canoville discuss how abuse scarred him for life Read full article »