Brazil’s Lula Wants Racist Soccer Clubs Banned from International Matches

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wants that soccer clubs and national teams of racist countries stop participating in world competitions, and that clubs receive punishment.

The request was expressed in a letter to the President of the international soccer federation FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), Joseph Blatter, and explained this Wednesday, March 8, in a special edition of President Lula’s radio program "Breakfast with the President".

In the letter, Lula said that requested severe measures from FIFA, and explained that he decided to write it after watching on TV scenes of racial prejudice, by fans of European clubs, against Brazilian players. "I’ve already seen it happen against Roberto Carlos, in Spain, and against Heitor".

Racial discrimination and soccer are opposite concepts, in the President’s viewpoint. For him, the former is hateful, while the latter means peace and happiness.

"We need to go there to show our best, our happiness, to cheer, play, and respect the athlete who is the artist playing the game."

Lula emphasized that disrespect cannot be part of the game. "The person who pays for the ticket to the game has the right to boo and to celebrate.

"But has no right to express his prejudice, neither in a soccer stadium, nor in a theater, on the streets, or at home. Prejudice is an illness that we need to treat very rigorously in order to eliminate it, once and for all, from the world."

Agência Brasil

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