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At a time when racism seems to be ever-present in the sport news pages, several professional footballers' associations and national teams have taken the opportunity to display their disgust with this phenomenon.

Racism is anything but the problem of only a handful of countries. Almost each country in the world has to deal with persons who simply refuse to acknowledge, or are too ignorant of, the fact that all people are created equal.

FIFPro – the worldwide representative of professional footballers – makes no distinction on the basis of nationality, religion, political convictions, race or gender. FIFPro is against all forms of racism and will oppose these at all times.

In Botswana and Scotland, the players associations and their national teams have taken a clear stance against racism. The national team of Botswana together with Footballers Union Botswana reacted to what happened in Russia recently, where FC Rostov coach Igor Gamula made racist comments last month. Ukrainian-born Gamula said he wouldn't sign any more black players, as he already had "six of the things" and joked at a press conference last month that Ebola had spread to his club. His comments did not go down well with his players. Gamula did apologise to each player individually afterwards, but he also has to serve a five-match suspension.

"While racism in sports is hardly new, the latest incidents still seem shocking at a time when black people are such a dominant force in the sports world", FUB said in their statement. "Our players should be recognised for what they are; they ought to be treated as equal to any other professional footballer regardless of origin and be afforded the most basic respect".


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PFA Scotland and the Scottish national team joined forces in the fight against discrimination in football. Earlier this month, Celtic defender Alexander Tonev was banned for seven matches for racially abusing Aberdeen player Shay Logan; in September Celtic player Virgil van Dijk was targeted by racist taunts during a match at Saint Mirren.

Fraser Wishart, PFA Chief Executive: "Huge steps have been made towards eradicating racism from the game in this country; we must not however become complacent as there is always more work to do and we must continue to support the good work of the campaign".

"The players' union have been supporters of the campaign since its inception when Tony Higgins was one of the main driving forces in the formation of the Scottish arm".

"Since then, 'Show Racism the Red Card' has become a model for anti-racist campaigns in football throughout the world. Our members have been strong in their support over the years and will once again get fully behind the message that racism and other forms of discrimination are not acceptable within Scottish football".


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