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'We're all human beings' – Can calls for united front on fight against racist 'idiots'

15:00 GMT+4 10/04/2019
Emre Can Juventus Serie A 09292018
The Juventus midfielder has hit out at racist supporters and hopes to see more people join the fight against racism the world over

Emre Can has joined the chorus of players who have hit out at racism in football in recent days, labelling the perpetrators as "idiots".  

Racist acts from fans have made headlines across Europe in the last month, with Montenegro facing a UEFA charge of racist behaviour after Raheem Sterling and some of his international team-mates were targeted by supporters during England's 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win last month. 

Championship clubs Brentford and Wigan Athletic condemned racist incidents around their weekend matches , while Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha retweeted a Twitter user who called him a "black monkey". 

One of Can’s team-mates, Juventus teenager Moise Kean, was also taunted by Cagliari fans during a recent 2-0 Serie A win , where he marked a late goal by holding his arms outstretched to the home ultras. 

The rash of actions from supporters have made the topic of racism in football a hot one, and Can has called it “sad and a pity” that such behaviour is still a part of the world.  

“It’s happening all over the world,” he told  DAZN and Goal . “I just think it's sad and a pity,”  

"It doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from, what religion you follow, or the colour of your skin; we're all human beings.  

"Anyone who does not respect this is an idiot and has to stay away from the football stadium and our society. 

"It is a pity that this problem cannot be solved, and I think that each of us must participate in the fight against racism." 

Two of Can’s international team-mates were at the centre of a racism story over the summer after meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  

Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan both faced a heavy backlash for meeting with the Turkish leader, and while Can has hit out against all forms of discrimination, he was only willing to explain why declined the chance to meet Erdogan himself.  

“I am football player, not a politician,” he said. “That’s why I did not want to go there.” 

Can and Juventus face a Champions League quarter-final first leg against Ajax on Wednesday, with the Serie A giants hosting the second leg next Tuesday.  

They will also have the chance to clinch the Italian league crown at the weekend with just a draw needed against SPAL to earn the Scudetto.