SouthAfrica’s SportsMinisterFikileMbalulaandFootballAssociation(SAFA)President DannyJordaanhaveurgedFIFAtodismiss FCRostovcoachIgorGamulaafterhereferredtotheclub’s Africanplayersas‘things’duringapost-matchpressconference,earlierthismonth.
The call for action comes days after a number of players of the Russian Premier League club, including the South African defender Siyanda Xulu, demanded the dismissal of the 54 year-old coach over his remarks.
In a letter to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, the SAFA President said: “I write to you because our expectation is that any host country of a Fifa World Cup, as Russia would be in 2018, must be a host for any nation or person regardless of skin colour, and welcome them respectively.
“This kind of conduct must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The fact that it is recurring requires steps involving serious sanction.”
“It is not the first time that racist remarks have been made by a Russian football sport official. It seems to me that Africans are the main target of racism. President Blatter, your track record against racism speaks for itself. You were the FIFA General Secretary when FIFA expelled South Africa for its racist apartheid policies.”
In 2012, Danny Jordaan boycotted the finals of the Euro 2012 championships to protest against the racism in Ukraine, where the tournament was co-hosted.
‘NBA action in Sterling’s case an example to follow’ says Mbalula
Fikile Mbalula, head of South Africa’s sport, said an apology alone would not be enough, pointing to how the NBA forced Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers and banned him for life over racism.
“Sports bodies must make an example. There must be no philosophical answer to what he said. He must be dismissed from his job, period. You can’t call people ‘things’. This is beyond abuse, and if we don’t send strong messages to racists in sport, we will not be able to contain this.
“They must understand the consequences are dire and FIFA must do something because [Gamula’s] federation has not done anything,”.