English show way to tackle racism, say Spain players
MADRID, March 1 (Reuters) Spain should look to English soccer as an example of how to tackle racism, according to Premier League-based players in the Spanish national team.
''People there (in England) are much more aware and sensitive about the issue,'' Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso was today quoted as saying by sports daily Marca.
''There are campaigns in all the stadiums there to eradicate this sort of behaviour. I think we could learn from them and even collaborate with some of their initiatives.'' Spain winger Luis Garcia echoed his Liverpool colleague's comments.
''From what I've seen in England they deal with these sort of incidents very carefully and never brush any of it under the carpet,'' he said.
''Perhaps they are more advanced in that respect, but I think that if we all do our bit we can make sure that these sorts of incidents don't happen in Spain.'' The problem of racism at Spanish football grounds was highlighted last weekend when Barcelona's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o threatened to leave the pitch during his side's league match against Real Zaragoza after being racially abused by some of the home fans.
Zaragoza, whose fans have been involved in similar incidents in the past, were fined 9,000 euros (10,750 dollars) for the incident.
The club has said it will try and root out the supporters who were responsible for the abuse.
Players from the Spanish national side are expected to parade a banner against racism ahead of today's friendly against Ivory Coast.
REUTERS SC PM2010