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'Fake' anti-racism campaigns don't affect anyone, claims Evra

14:51 BST 04/08/2019
Patrice Evra
The former defender says leagues must take stronger action to fight racism in football

Patrice Evra says anti-racism campaigns in football such as Kick It Out are "fake" and ineffective in tackling the issue.

The former Manchester United, Juventus and France defender was on the receiving end of racist remarks from Luis Suarez in a famous incident during a clash between the Old Trafford side and Liverpool in October 2011. 

Racism remains a big issue throughout world football, as has been highlighted by several recent high-profile incidents in England and Italy, where Moise Kean and Kalidou Koulibaly have suffered racial abuse.

FIFA, UEFA and national associations frequently face criticism for their inability to deal with the problem and Evra believes the biggest campaigns have done very little to help.

Evra told The Daily Mail: "When I first came to England in 2006, Didier Deschamps said: 'You will see this country is so open, you can be on the street, people can have yellow hair and red hair and nobody cares'.

"And I saw so many different people with crazy stuff, crazy dress, and no one cares because you are free.

"But when you are a football player, you are not allowed to have yellow hair. People are using this to create hate around that player even if he is performing well and I won't accept that. The problem is in the English game. Black players aren't abused when they walk on the street.

"I love England. I have lived so many years in England. You can't call the people in England racist. Italy is the same. But when they come in the stadium, they start to be like animals, acting like animals. That's when they start to use everything for you to have a bad game.

"Should I call them racists for that? I don't know. There are different ways to hurt a player but I don't know why you have to talk about his origin or colour. I don't think it should be up to the players to fight it. It is the league. If the league keeps accepting it, one day something bad will happen.

"The answer is not those official campaigns like Say No to Racism. I don't want to wear the shirt Say No to Racism. They ask me to do those campaigns but I won't because they are fake. The players don't even know what it's about. Some of them don't even want to do it. So when I did that first Instagram video when I was dressed as a panda, it was because I wanted to affect kids. If you're funny, you might reach more kids.

"But don't ask me to Say No to Racism like a robot because that won't affect anyone. I am happy to do a campaign against racism but in my own way. Maybe I'm crazy but it is a good craziness."