Racist banner mars match17 February 2005

Racism has marred the UEFA Cup third round match, between Ajax and French club Auxerre played on 16 February 2005. Auxerre’s Ivory Coast striker, Bonaventure Kalou, was greeted by a racist banner as he entered the pitch. The banner suggested that Kalou, who used to play for Ajax’s bitter rivals Feyenoord, should go “To a banana tree”. This latest incident comes at a time when the general public’s disgust for racism and the campaign against it has never been so prevalent.

Ajax officials clearly failed to act in this instance. The FARE/UEFA 10-point-plan, that has been issued to all clubs and football authorities for some time now, outlines clear steps that clubs should take to prevent racist abuse. It is unclear whether UEFA have been officially informed of the incidents. UEFA has previously punished clubs for the racism of their fans during its competitions.