At the top are white men making decisions: Frimpong

Former midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong says racism is still present in football because the people who make the decisions are not affected by it.

Ex-midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong started his professional career in 2011 with Arsenal, but he was loaned three times and didn’t play much for the Gunners in the English Premier League.

He quit football just seven years later because he tore a knee ligament.

But he talked to The Guardian to tell them maybe his worst pain was not the injury but the racism he lived.

“It got to the stage where I was playing through too much pain,” he said.

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The Arsenal footballer says he admires his father the most when he was growing up, so he wanted to play the game he loved the most.

“I just couldn’t put a pattern of games together. I’d be coming home and putting ice on my knee, my ankle, everywhere. It became hard to wake up in the morning and want to go to work.”

“The point that all those at the top – FIFA, UEFA, whoever makes the decisions – are white men,” he commented.

“I don’t blame them personally but how can somebody feel your pain if they’ve never been in that situation? Most of these people have never been racially abused; they don’t know what it feels like so any punishment they give comes from their world, not understanding the black person’s point of view.”

He added: “If things are to change then the committees need to be full of people with different backgrounds. How are they going to pass judgment on these people if they haven’t been on the other end? How would you feel if you came to Africa, full of black people, and were abused? You’d think: ‘My God, I need to get out of here’.

“Players don’t deserve to play the game they love and get abused for it, but in the end what’s changing? Nobody is doing anything. Countries can get fined €10,000 for racist chanting and it’s embarrassing.”


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