Global Watch in bid to halt racism in sport

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

A GLOBAL sum­mit aimed at erad­i­cat­ing racism and dis­crim­i­na­tion in sport will fea­ture a host of in­ter­na­tional sports fed­er­a­tions and high pro­file speak­ers in Jo­han­nes­burg next Thurs­day.

Founder of Global Watch, busi­ness­man Tokyo Sexwale, said yes­ter­day the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, the United Na­tions, and Fifa would all be rep­re­sented at the two-day sum­mit.

“Global Watch is a call to ac­tion – for right-think­ing peo­ple in the whole world to take a stand,” Sexwale said at the sum­mit launch in Jo­han­nes­burg.

“The time has come for peo­ple to be re­spected, not to be in­sulted. Peo­ple don’t know where to go when they have been racially abused.”

Sexwale said the aim of the sum­mit was to pro­duce a char­ter, set­ting ba­sic prin­ci­ples against racism on sports fields glob­ally.

“The sum­mit is go­ing to be talk­ing about a barom­e­ter, some­thing that will mea­sure that char­ter. Each year there will be a re­lease about which coun­tries are do­ing what. You don’t want to find your­self in the red. All we’re do­ing is mak­ing sure that fed­er­a­tions and or­gan­i­sa­tions are forced to im­ple­ment their own rules.”

The ANC stal­wart said he had been part of for­mal­is­ing mea­sures against racism in sport since 2006, when he joined Fifa’s “Say No to Racism” cam­paign.

“We thought this thing ‘racism’ would sub­side. It’s get­ting worse.”

Clos­est to home was an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing South African soc­cer player Siyanda Xulu, who plays for Rus­sian club FC Ros­tov.

Ear­lier this month the de­fender re­fused to at­tend train­ing after his coach Igor Ga­mula said the club had “enough dark-skinned play­ers, we’ve got six of the things” in an­swer to a ques­tion on whether Cameroo­nian Benoit Angbwa would be join­ing the club.

Ga­mula went on to say that five of his Rus­sian play­ers were ill with a high tem­per­a­ture and joked that the Ebola epi­demic was the cause. Sexwale com­mended Xulu for tak­ing a stand. Mean­while, SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan has given his back­ing to the project.

“You can­not have in­di­vid­ual re­sponses even when racism tar­gets in­di­vid­u­als – you need an or­gan­i­sa­tional re­sponse,” Jor­daan said.

“One thing that we can all cel­e­brate as South Africans is that the world has looked to South Africa to take lead­er­ship on this very com­plex chal­lenge that the world faces.

“I’m happy to be part of this process and or­gan­i­sa­tion that has the courage to move beyond words.”

The Con­fed­er­a­tion of African Foot­ball (Caf) say a new host­ing coun­try for the Africa Cup of Na­tions will be named in the next two or three days.

In com­ments pub­lished yes­ter­day by the African soc­cer body from an in­ter­view with French tele­vi­sion sta­tion France 24, Caf pres­i­dent Issa Hay­a­tou also says that de­lay­ing the tour­na­ment would have been like sign­ing a “death war­rant” for the sport in Africa.

Morocco were dumped as hosts on Tues­day be­cause they wanted to post­pone the tour­na­ment over Ebola fears. Hay­a­tou says a de­lay would have af­fected com­mer­cial agree­ments with spon­sors and play­ers may not have been re­leased by their clubs to play in a re-sched­uled tour­na­ment. – Sapa/Sapa-AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.