Fare report reaches Brazil and opens debate on ethnic minorities in coaching21 November 2014


Following the research findings, which revealed that only 19 ethnic minority coaches are employed in 552 positions across 92 professional clubs in England, media in Brazil have used the report to draw a parallel with the country’s own reality.

Among 20 clubs in Série A (Brazil’s top league) only Fluminense is managed by a black coach, Cristóvão Borges, who signed for the club in February 2014.

Since 2010 only five black managers coached teams of the top tier league.

‘Our history is to blame’
To former Flamengo manager Andrade, the first black coach to win a Championship title in Brazil, clubs “are not prepared to see a black coach lead a team”.

“The problem has to do with the history of our country, it is harder for black people to get into leadership positions. It happens in big companies and happens in football as well”.

Recent numbers have shown that among the country’s top leagues (Série A and B) only 15% of the clubs are coached by black managers, a total of six out of 40 teams.

‘This is bigger than football’
To Marcel Diego Tonini, a researcher in the field, what happens in football is similar to what happens in society.

“This is bigger than football, the belief that black people can’t manage a team or people, in general, is a cultural issue.

“In football, this is institutional, those who run clubs are the ones who don’t allow these people [ethnic minorities] to have access to leading jobs.”

On the opportunities for black coaches former Corinthians and Internacional player Nílson Esídio highlighted: “People say it is not true but black people are not given the same opportunities, especially in football. Those who play can be black, but not the ones who manage them.

“People always expect more from a black manager, they have to be above the average”.

In a country where 51% of the population is black, Atlético-MG former midfielder Paulo Isidro said: “We don’t need to hear derogatory terms to know that discrimination exists, we can see it.”

Human rights entities meet to further action
Earlier this week (17 November), the Brazilian Commission of Human Rights met the President’s Secretary of Human Rights, clubs, journalists and lawyers, to discuss the latest incidents in Brazilian football.

Among the topics approached was the lack of ethnic minorities in football board rooms and leadership positions, including coaching, and whether the sanctions imposed so far have been effective in tackling discrimination.

Suggestions, including the creation of an Internet application through which fans can report incidents, in and outside stadiums, and the possibility of including an anti-racism message in the club’s jerseys, were also discussed.

The meeting was held ahead of Brazil’s Black History Day (20 November), an awareness day that highlights the country’s history and cultural diversity.

Flu Cristóvão Borges