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Moussa Marega Racially Abused During Game – The Buck Stops Here

On Monday, FC Porto registered a 2-1 away win against Vitoria de Guimaraes, seeing them edge to within one point of league leaders Benfica in the Portuguese top flight.

However, the game felt like an afterthought following the horrible events that took place in the 68th minute.

Less than ten minutes prior, Porto striker Moussa Marega put the visitors ahead. By the 68th minute, his joy had been turned into rage as Vitoria fans began to racially abuse him from the sidelines.

The French-born Malian was visibly enraged by the comments made, forcing him to walk off the field, ignoring the pleas from opposition players, his teammates and coaching staff to stay on the field.

The full video can be found below.

Not so long ago, we saw Italian striker Mario Balotelli (whose parents are Ghanaian) racially taunted by Lazio fans. The match on January 5th saw Lazio fined a mere 20,000 euros for the vile attacks.

Only two months prior to that, Balotelli booted the ball at the crowd and subsequently walked off the field after Hellas Verona fans displayed monkey chants in the 54th minute.

In spite of all the good that has been done in recent years to combat racism in our sport, some people don’t seem to fully comprehend just how hurtful their actions and words can be.

Racism, put simply has no place in today’s society. Whether it be on a soccer pitch, in a public place or on social media, all forms of racism should be called out and the individuals responsible should be held accountable.

Thankfully, in the case of the Hellas Verona ‘ultra’ who was at the centre of the attacks behind Balotelli, a significant ban was handed out.

But it is not enough. If you’ve seen the above videos, then you know just how much racist abuse can affect players.

They’ve all worked harder than you could possibly imagine to get to where they are now. They don’t deserve to be condemned simply because they look different than what people view as the norm.

In a world where people are growing to accept everyone for who they are regardless of race, gender, sex or otherwise, those people who are stuck in a different time need to be flushed out.

They need to be taught that it is simply unacceptable to call people out for being different.

When Balotelli was three, he was moved into foster care as his biological parents were too poor to cover his health bills. He was forced to bide his time between his foster parents and his biological ones.

All this happened after he and his family moved from the southernmost point of Italy to about as far north as you can go.

He wasn’t exactly born into a life of riches like some footballers are. He had to work his way from the ground up, fighting for every inch he could possibly get.

He has been able to forge a successful career for himself, winning three Serie A titles and the Champions League with Inter Milan.

He was also directly involved in the famous sequence of play that saw Sergio Aguero score the Premier League-winning goal for Manchester City in the 2011-2012 season.

No football fan alive today will ever forget the famous Martin Tyler call of “Balotelli….. Aguerooooo!” In assisting the Argentine, Balotelli forever wrote his name into footballing folklore.

But the sad fact remains that even in this time, there are those who want to bring him and players like Moussa Marega down to their levels.

Many fans are motivated to do this by jealousy. They look at these successful black players as they sit in the stands, envious of the money they make as professional players. The lives they live off the field. Their ability on the field.

It makes them sick that it’s not them in that position. Frankly, it makes everyone sick when these people decide to take out their anger and frustration on players who are undeserving of such attention.

What these people need to be taught is this.

If you were in their feet, as some have wished they would be, how would you like it if someone you’d never met or seen before began calling you names and making obscene gestures towards you for no other reason than you being different to them?

What if a random Twitter account began racially abusing you behind the safety of their computer screen?

It wouldn’t be a fun feeling and to wish that kind of treatment on players isn’t just reprehensible. It’s downright unfair.

Something else that needs to be taught to some is to let people make their feeling known. This particularly pertains to some of the teammates of Balotelli and Marega who insisted for them to not leave the field.

In the heat of the moment, it’s understandable to want your teammate to stay on the field as you try to win the game. But the fact of the matter is that they are protesting.

Them walking off the field is their way of saying that they won’t stand for racism. From this point onwards, players should try to understand what it is their teammate is fighting for.

In that moment, they need support. Join in the protest, don’t let the fans get what they want. Whatever needs to be done in that situation to show the racists what they’re doing isn’t right, do it.

These guys are your teammates after all. You’re supposed to have their back, no matter what.

By simply explaining this to players across the globe, helping them to understand that it is not right, things will take a turn for the better.

Because that’s what players such as Moussa Marega and Mario Balotelli are doing. Fighting against what’s wrong and fighting for what’s right and what is needed.

 

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Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

New community club support initiatives to be rolled out by Football Queensland

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced they will introduce a new offering of club support initiatives over the next weeks and months.

Football Queensland (FQ) has announced they will introduce a new offering of club support initiatives over the next weeks and months.

The move will benefit clubs based in the Sunshine State, as Football Queensland continue to focus on ways to strengthen the community, grassroots and volunteers for a more sustainable future.

“Football Queensland is committed to providing increased support to our clubs and dedicated volunteers at all levels of the game and this extensive new set of club support resources will provide practical guidance and support on a range of administration matters,” FQ President Ben Richardson said.

This news follows on from FQ’s announcement last week regarding their upgraded Club Support Hub, which is a go-to destination for club administrators to access important resources, guides and assistance with club processes and procedures.

“Following the launch of Football Queensland’s upgraded Club Support Hub last week, the introduction of FQ’s new club support initiatives will begin with an exciting new volunteer program which will be launched across the state in the coming weeks,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.

“As the season progresses, FQ will release a range of tailored resources for clubs that include new resources designed to inform clubs about specific operational activities including finance planning and budgeting, running an AGM and understanding the roles and responsibilities of committee members among others.

“Volunteers are critical to club operations, especially at this time of the season, so we are looking forward to providing an additional level of support to Queensland clubs as we strive to make the job easier for all volunteers.

“The development of additional club resources aligns with FQ’s commitment to providing high levels of customer service through the implementation of new technology and processes, while supporting clubs to deliver high-quality participation experiences in line with our Strategic Plan.

“We are excited to continue providing our clubs and volunteers across Queensland with unprecedented levels of support through the ongoing development of our Club Support Hub and the release of high-quality resources to strengthen our clubs at every level of the game.”

You can find the Club Support Hub here.

Football Australia announces major partnership with Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Football Australia and Commonwealth Bank Australia have announced a major partnership, which will make the Commonwealth Bank the largest investor in women’s football in Australia.

The CBA will become the official naming rights partner of the Matildas and will also make it the official bank of the Matildas, Junior Matildas, Young Matildas and Socceroos.

The partnership is for an initial four-year term with Football Australia’s release stating that the agreement will, “inject millions of dollars into elite women’s football and grassroots initiatives around the country.”

Commencing from August 2021, the partnership between CBA and Football Australia will include but is not limited to:

  • Official Naming Rights Partner of the Matildas, Junior Matildas and Young Matildas
  • Official Bank of the Matildas, Junior Matildas and Young Matildas
  • Official Partner the Female Football Awards
  • Official Naming Rights Partner of Matildas Fan Days
  • Official Partner and Bank of the Socceroos
  • Official Partner of the MiniRoos

Football Australia CEO, James Johnson, said the partnership was a crucial milestone ahead of a busy upcoming international schedule.

“We’re delighted to partner with Commonwealth Bank and see this as an exciting synergy of two of Australia’s great contemporary brands,” he said.

“We believe firmly in anchoring the growth of our sport in women’s football, the strength of our diverse community, promoting inclusivity in Australian football and enhancing the reputation of our national teams, both the Matildas and Socceroos as we embark on an incredibly busy international schedule over the next four years.

“We are thrilled that these core themes of our new 15-year vision and strategic agenda, which are so deeply embedded within our XI Principles for the future of Australian football, are also extremely important to Commonwealth Bank.

“This partnership is a wonderful representation of our bold new vision for the sport coming to life and the new trajectory of Australian football.

“We are proud to welcome Commonwealth Bank, one of Australia’s most iconic companies, to the football family as we embark, together, on this exciting journey of transformation towards becoming the centre of women’s football in the Asia-Pacific.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the enormous support that Westfield has and continues to provide to women’s football in Australia.

“Westfield’s commitment, leadership and significant investment in the game over 13 years has helped to create the current generation of champions and for that we will always be grateful. We continue to work with Westfield and indeed are excited about the Westfield Matildas taking on the Netherlands tonight.”

Football Australia Head of Women’s Football, Women’s World Cup Legacy & Inclusion, Sarah Walsh highlighted the significance of the ‘female-focused’ nature of the agreement.

“Commonwealth Bank’s female-focused investment will provide greater awareness of, and access to, women’s football,” she said

“We want to ensure every boy and girl has a great experience in the game they love and remain focused on building a legacy for our sport by providing girls with a pathway and inspiring them to play elite football.

“Only three months ago, Commonwealth Bank was ranked as Australia’s strongest brand, and as both an ex-player and administrator in the game, it is a truly proud moment to have such a significant organisation dedicating so much resource to our game.”

Commonwealth Bank CEO, Matt Comyn, said, the CBA was delighted to be add women’s football to its portfolio of partnerships, saying that in conjunction with the CBA’s partnership with women’s cricket, the bank was leading the way in supporting positive sporting outcomes for Australian women.

“Women’s football and women’s cricket are showing young Australian women they can achieve great things on the world stage,” he said.

“We look forward to working with Football Australia to ensure every girl and boy playing in a community club with a goal to play at an elite level has the same access and support to achieve their dream.

“The Matildas have been one of the great success stories of Australian sport in recent years as the women’s game has grown in stature and importance at home and around the globe.

“Many players are now in some of the best leagues in the world which has helped put Australian football on the map.

“We are delighted to partner with Football Australia in not only supporting the Matildas in their quest for World Cup glory, but equally as important, supporting the future growth and development of the game across all levels.”

Soccerscene partners with University of Canberra

Soccerscene and the University of Canberra have announced a partnership commencing from 5th of March.

Students from the University of Canberra will be offered pathways to partake in the football publication’s internship program under the agreement.

The partnership has been struck based on a mutual alignment of key values, including growth for the industry as well as ensuring students are skill-set ready to work in the Australian sporting media landscape.

As a leading industry-based football publication, Soccerscene’s core focus is to report on news relevant to those involved within the football industry. The publication focuses on sourcing stories that are centred on knowledge growth, governance, key developments, as well as major domestic and international events.

“We are all excited to form this partnership and look forward to creating strong ties with the university” Liam Watson – Managing Editor & Internship Co-ordinator .

“It is our belief that it is extremely important for university students to receive appropriate internship experience and we are willing to provide that.”

Representatives at Soccerscene echoed the message, stating mutual values and passion as key drivers for the formation of the partnership.

A University of Canberra spokesperson said: “Soccerscene’s internship program would provide a brilliant opportunity for our students and we would love to see if we could develop a further ongoing relationship with Soccerscene. We already have one (an internship agreement) with Capital Football which has proved to be a great experience for our students.”

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