Date: 21st September 2008 at 1:35pm
Written by:

Wigan Athletic and England centre forward Emile Heskey has spoken about the racial abuse that he received whilst on international duties with England in Croatia earlier this month.

Heskey played in the drubbing of the Croats in Zagreb but received terrible taunts from the crowd and chanting directed towards him of a racist nature, Heskey told the Sunday Times:

‘When I made a challenge, which I got booked for, it felt like the whole stand behind the goal we were attacking in the second half was doing it’

‘When we kicked off again with the free kick it stopped, but for 10 or 20 seconds you could hear it, and it was horrible.

‘We’ve had it before, in Spain and Slovakia, and if you think about it, you probably get it in places where they don’t have many black players, or even black people, in the community. Not like England, which is multicultural.

‘Over there, they are a long way behind us in that respect, and it’s down to ignorance. At first I thought, ‘What the hell is this?’ But as soon as we kicked off again it went out of my head.

‘When I was younger, I’d have been angrier, but the more you come across it, the more you’re left thinking, ‘What can you do?’ It’s up to the authorities to take action. We’ve reported it, so let’s see what happens.’


Heskey might be correct that it happens in places where the community isn`t so diverse culturally but that doesn`t excuse such ignorant behaviour and FIFA need to clamp down on this.

English football isn`t perfect but some of the Football Associations around Europe are so far behind that it is embarrassing

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