Racism in sports a worrying trendListen /
Racism in sports is a major problem and is likely to mar the up coming Olympic Games unless it is tackled urgently, according to the UN expert on racism Mutuma Rutere.
In a report to the UN Human Rights Council Mr Rutere cited the recent incidents of violence and racism that occurred during the just concluded European Football Championship in Ukraine and Poland as an indicator that more needs to be done to defeat racism in sports.
He said although the internet has become vital in the exercise of the freedom of expression, it has also become a new arena for the spreading of racist ideas, dissemination of racist ideologies and incitement to racial hatred.
He called on States to pay close attention to early signs of racism adding that if not dealt with racism can lead to conflicts and grave human rights violations.
"The presence of extremist groups, including neo-Nazi and skinhead groups in sporting events is a matter of serious concern. Neo-Nazi symbols, slogans and banners displayed during football matches and racist monkey chants directed at players or supporters of African origin should not be tolerated. I call upon States to intensify the fight against racism in sport and to strengthen the role of sports in promoting cultural diversity. In particular in light of the upcoming Olympics it is crucial that further preventive measures be taken to avoid racist incidents during this event which is going to reach out to all regions of the world. I reiterate that education in general and human rights education, in particular, remains a key tool in countering the influence of these ideologies among the youth."