Former Ghana captain, Stephen Appiah, says he has never personally suffered racial discrimination throughout his footballing career but has thrown light on why the canker continues to exist among football fans.
Racial discrimination against Black players has seen renewed scrutiny following the global protests against racial injustices which were sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the US.
Appiah said football fans who haul racial abuse at footballers do so in an attempt to disrupt a player’s focus.
“I’ve never experienced racism but I’ve been in games where the opponent’s fans are trying to disturb [abuse] black players and all that,” the former Juventus and Fernabahce midfielder said.
“I think that at times they do when the player is a threat to them so they try to distract you and make you lose concentration so you can’t perform well.
“For others too, that’s just how they are, it’s their habit. That’s how they see us [black players] and I think it’s very bad.
“For years, African players, South American players, players with brown skin; we have tried to send messages but it’s never changing.
“But personally, I’ve never experienced that,” Appiah concluded in an interview with South American journalist, Carol Tsabalala.
Appiah spent 8 years in Italy from 1997 to 2005, playing for the likes of Udinese, Brescia, Parma and Juventus in an illustrious career before leaving to join Turkish giants Fernabahce.