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Rio Ferdinand: Football Has Become Complacent Over ‘Simmering’ Racism

The QPR man has weight into the racism debate which sparked this week…

Former Manchester United and England captain Rio Ferdinand has claimed that football, as a sport, has become complacent with regards to the issue of racism.

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The defender, who now plays for London club QPR, was speaking in an interview with BT Sport in a response to the incidents involving Chelsea fans on the Paris metro earlier this week.

Ferdinand and his family are no strangers to racism controversies though, John Terry was found guilty of racially abusing Rio’s brother, Anton, during a match between QPR and Chelsea. The Blues defender was banned for four matches and fined £220,000 for the incident in which he shouted something at Ferdinand.

Speaking on BT Sport, the former England captain said, “I think a lot of people became a bit complacent with racism because we’re not hearing it so much in stadiums in our country people believe we’ve done the job.

“It’s been simmering, it’s there. We thought football was a tool to suppress it (racism). It’s a good vehicle but the bigger issue is society and education – to get into people’s homes and schools to educate away from this ignorance.”

The 36-year-old has also taken to Twitter and his column in The Sun to give his views that ‘complacency’ from with the game of football had allowed racist behaviour to prevail, when we as a society are under the opinion it is an issue which has been dealt with.

He wrote, “We are the standard-bearers. It’s not like going to parts of Eastern Europe when you would be thinking to yourself ‘what are we going to get here?’. Even those people who are racists here tend to go into a stadium and turn the mute button on for 90 minutes.

“But the game as a whole has to take a zero-tolerance approach. For years it’s been clear than FIFA and UEFA have shied away from doing what they needed to do. They have let football down time and time again.”

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