Football can do nothing about getting rid of racism, society can: John Barnes

The former England international believes there is “irrational pressure” on the sport to tackle this problem in the world

The England national team match against Switzerland marks the 25th anniversary of the Kick It Out campaign.

The campaign is a way to fight for equal rights in football and has been part of the game for a quarter of a century.

But for English football legend John Barnes, this is no the way to tackle this problem.

“It is an irrational pressure, it is a stupid pressure,” he told RTÉ Sport.

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“Football can do nothing about getting rid of racism, society can.”

“It is okay pointing the finger at Russia and saying how terrible it is in Russia but that alleviates us looking at ourselves and Gareth Southgate has said that himself. We still have a long way to go,” he said.

“How many black managers do we have? Has anything really changed?”

“We can’t kid ourselves to think it is changed but it is doing what it can. What has to happen is it has to change in society, not in football,” he continued.

“Change it in society and it will change in football, not the other way around. But because football is media attentive, you are looking at football to drive society, you cannot do that, it is impossible.”

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