Confederations Cup: Blackface parade inappropriate, says FIFA

Written by: Aveek Chakraborty
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Moscow, June 1: Football's governing body FIFA has labelled people representing Cameroon's national team's walk in a parade in blackface in Sochi ahead of Confederations Cup as inappropriate.

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Individuals in blackface and conveying bananas walked in an official parade in Sochi a month prior to Cameroon's match against Germany and has raised eyebrows of many regarding racism in football.

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A photo from the parade showed that a man in a Cameron Jersey walked with his face and arms painted Black busy playing the drums.

Another man was seen in blackface just behind him who also wore an Afro Wig with a drum and bananas on the string.

In a statement, FIFA suggested this presentation of Parade was wrong and it brought discrimination towards a certain race.

"We understand that one of the goals of the parade in Sochi was to celebrate the teams participating in the FIFA Confederations Cup," FIFA said in a statement. "However the displays ... are inappropriate.

"Blackening of faces is considered discriminatory and will not be tolerated inside the stadiums."

The parade was driven by Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov and included troops for every one of the teams that will play in Sochi.

Russia has a bad track record of football-related racism and such actions have again put questions about whether non-white fans and players will be suitable for Russian Venues.

However, in an announcement, the Sochi City Government demanded they didn't intend to bring about any offences during the parade and the parade was a “celebration of the different continents and a testimony of Russia’s open attitude toward traditions from around the globe.”

"I'm very sorry if any of the participants lacked an elementary sense of taste," Pakhomov said. "I want to emphasise that this one-off incident does not in any way reflect multinational Sochi and its inhabitants, who have always been recognised for their hospitality and tolerance."

The tournament will start from June 17 when host Russia will play New Zeland.

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