Liverpool star Djibril Cisse has revealed how he was shocked and depressed after racist taunts during a European match. Speaking at FARE partner Kick It Out’s Week of Action launch in Merseyside, the Liverpool FC player joined Tranmere Rovers and Everton footballers to condemn prejudice in sport.
Cisse, who had to endure monkey chants during a game against CSK Sofia said:
“When you are in the game you are focused and don't hear it. But afterwards it made me sad. It was the first time it had happened to me.”
“For me this campaign is very important because racism is a big problem, not just in football but in normal life. The fact we are all here is a real message. There's rivalry between the teams but to fight racism we have to forget everything about that. To kids I would say to try and forget black and white and just be together. The solution is to be together and forget about race.”
As well as talks on racism from schools liaison officers, children in Merseyside can enter a competition to design anti-racism posters and buy anti-racist wristbands as part of the campaign starting on October 13.
The players said the 10-day project, which will tour schools, was personally important to them and was one of the few things that could bring together the footballing rivals.
Merseyside Police Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe said the fears that teenager Anthony Walker had died in a racist attack proved the importance of tackling racism head on. He said,
“It was a real wake up call for the city. We all hoped we were living together as one community, but there are some people out there who treat people from ethnic minorities badly. I think the situation is getting better but there are some pockets where people have difficulties, especially if they are not in large communities.”