Portuguese ultra group, Frente Leiria, have publicly started their support for the actions of Marc Zoro, who threatened to walk off the pitch last month after being subjected to a torrent of racist abuse in an Italian Serie A league game.
Frente Leiria began as an official ultra group of U.D.Leiria, back in 2001. After two different presidents they decided to become more involved in the campaign against racism. At the beginning of this current season they made the brave decision to make a defiant stand against racism by adapting their internal rules for the supporters group. Frente Leiria are the first and only supporters’ group in Portugal to be officially against racism in football and in wider society.
Support for Marc Zoro
Filipe Silva, of Frente Leiria, explained their decision to support Marc Zoro’s actions,
“First of all because he is a human being like you, like me, like we all are at Frente Leiria. Secondly, because it was easier for us to make our message visible, since it’s a case that everyone everywhere took notice by the media. It will inspire other players who are victims of racist abuse in the Stadiums, to take a stand against it! There’s too much racism in Portugal, both in sports and society!”
A fortnight ago, Pedro Mantorras of S.L.Benfica became the victim of racist abuse during their match against Maritimo. Maritimo received a paltry 600 Euro fine from the Portuguese Football Federation.
On 17th December, Lourenço, a player from Frente Leiria’s own team, U.D.Leiria, was the victim of racist abuse during their away match at Estrela da Amadora. Lourenço faced a barrage of monkey chants whenever he approached the terrace of the Estrela da Amadora supporters.