0c510567e8898be9fc23ec0f0d5863a3a132f704bd8bd8190d
Home >> Entertainment >> Benoit Assou-Ekotto: Racism in French Football is Worst than that of the English
Benoit Assou-Ekotto: Racism in French Football is Worst than that of the English

Benoit Assou-Ekotto: Racism in French Football is Worst than that of the English

Benoit Assou-Ekotto: Racism in French Football is Worst than that of the English

The shop assistant looked up as Benoît Assou-Ekotto walked into the television showroom in France. Then, seemingly uninterested in his young, black customer, he turned back to his work.

But Tottenham’s French-born Cameroon left-back was in no mood to be ignored.

‘So I go to him and I ask, “How much is this TV?” And the man didn’t even put his head up but just said, “Expensive.”

‘I said: “Yeah, but how much?” He said, “Yeah, expensive.” I said: “OK, so tell me!” So he stood up and said, “It’s about €10,000. Expensive.”

‘So I showed him my watch and said, “About the same price as my watch?” Then he started to respect me.’

It is not something you sense Assou-Ekotto would have done unless pushed.

He does not come across as a footballer given to vulgar displays of wealth or one who would thrust his designer wristwatch into the face of a stranger to illustrate his purchasing power.

He is affable in conversation and no polemicist. But while he was born in France and grew up in Arras, about 60 miles south-east of Calais, he opted to play for Cameroon, the country of his late father.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto: Racism in French Football is Worst than that of the English And as Assou-Ekotto talks, sitting in a bar beneath his Canary Wharf apartment, he explains why he loves his London life and takes issue with the country of his birth, where he feels his race marks him as an outsider and the kind of person who would not be able even to contemplate paying €10,000 for a television.

‘I think here there are better racial relations than in France,’ he says, ‘better interaction and better co-existence. For example, in England I see more [black] people with responsibility than in France. Here at Canary Wharf, there are black people and Asian people wearing suits and with good jobs.’

His perception is that the children of migrants to France – his father moved there from Cameroon when he was 16 – are still viewed as outsiders because of the colour of their skin.

‘In France, I tell you how it feels,’ he says. ‘When you have colour, you are [seen as] poor people and a problem. When you are from France, you can be surprised by some things you see in England.’

One example, he agrees, is the racial diversity of those in London with positions of authority. He was taken aback, for example, to see a police officer wearing a turban.

And of the French shop assistant he encountered last summer, he is disdainful.

‘This kind of behaviour is not cool,’ he says. ‘So we start to respect you only because of your money?’

Read Full Story Here

You Might Also Like

[related_posts limit=”6″]

One comment

  1. Sneijder has been very good, but Iniesta or Xavi should be in there ahead of him, they did win the world cup after all!! Sneijder hasnt done so much after the semumr as Inter have struggled this season, but i agree that he was brilliant last season, wouldnt have won the champions league without him!Redknapp has done a brilliant job at Spurs, how he has made them title contenders i dont know, but he has to be the new england manager when capello gets inevitabley sacked.

Have Your Say

x

Check Also

London Based Nigerian Fraudster Fizzy Jailed For ‘£30m’ Lottery Scam

A fraudster, named “Fizzy” because of his love for champagne, has been jailed for conning people out of their life savings with a bogus lottery scam. Frank Onyeachonam, 38, of ...

Everything For The Kids: Charity Collection By M.A.F Couture

After a successful year, Mary Tataw Eyere saw her latest collections on the pages of two Dutch magazines, online magazines and blogs. Her men’s collection was then debuted by Nigerian ...

London Boroughs Resist Gov’t ‘Racist’ Adverts

A UK pilot scheme that aims to encourage ‘Illegal Immigrants’ to leave the country voluntarily has found enormous resistance from all sections.

South 2 North Redi Tlhabi discusses banning of African film

South 2 North’s Redi Tlhabi Discusses Banning Of African Film

This Friday on Al Jazeera’s global talk show South 2 North, Redi Tlhabi speaks to three film directors in the aftermath of South Africa’s Film and Publication Board banning Of Good Report, the opening ...

%d bloggers like this: