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Horrific Racism Disgusting European Football

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Black players, and players from different ethnic backgrounds in general, in the European Championship league are struggling to live with horrific racist attacks against them on a daily basis.

Juventus captain, Giorgio Chiellini has pledged to stand up against discrimination in football.

According to him Italian football faces another challenge; the horrific racism experienced by black players.

“I feel ashamed as an Italian that my teammates and fellow players have to live through this. I have no idea how they do it. Of course, as a footballer I’ve had my fair share of heckling from the stands. Sometimes it was tough to stay focused, to manage my emotions,” says Chiellini.

“However, I have never experienced abuse for something that is part of me, such as my skin colour, gender or sexuality. I can never understand what that feels like, but I know it is unacceptable. And it has to stop,” added Juventus captain.

Giorgio Chiellini says that he has been reflecting on what he can do as someone who has not experienced discrimination but who has a voice, has a platform and has a responsibility. “I realise this is an ongoing process for me, but here is my starting point – five things I can do to join the fight against discrimination”;

Understand this struggle is my struggle

I may not be the target of discriminatory abuse but as captain of Juventus, as captain of my national team, and as a human being, this fight against discrimination is also my struggle and my responsibility.

Educate myself

I do not have all the answers, but I can listen and learn. I acknowledge that I need to put in that work myself rather than put the onus on people facing discrimination to educate me.

Amplify the voice of others

I will not be silent, but I will also not speak on behalf of those who live with discrimination every day. Instead I will amplify the voices of others, and I’ll start here by highlighting what Koulibaly and Osimhen said after Napoli’s game against Fiorentina: Koulibaly posted on Instagram that fans who racially abuse players “need to be identified and kept out of the stadiums – forever.”

Victor took to Twitter after the match to urge people to discuss racism. I ask that you listen to these players and all those who have the courage to speak about their experiences.

Try my best, even if that feels uncomfortable

As a player I have learnt that when we face great challenges, we may make mistakes along the way. But that does not mean we give up or do not try. The most important thing is that when we are wrong, we take responsibility to improve. Being a good ally is like being a good teammate: I may not always get it right, and sometimes it will feel uncomfortable when I’m asked to do something different. But I will own my mistakes, and learn, and do better.

Understand this conversation is not about me

I feel pain when I see my teammates and fellow players abused. And I feel shame as an Italian. I am embarrassed that the world is watching and sees the worst of my country when there is so much to love. But I also acknowledge that I have to manage my feelings myself, because I am not the victim and this conversation is not about me.

This is what we can do as players. Of course our federations, leagues and clubs also need to get together, in consultation with players and player unions, and develop a more effective strategy.

We need officials and governing bodies to take the issue seriously, and to react swiftly and appropriately to any incident on the pitch, in the dressing room or online. And I will continue to raise my voice to encourage others to act.

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African Cup of Nations Enters Round of 16

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The 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations being held in Cameroon kicked off from January 9 and the final whistle will blow on February 6, 2022.

The  extremely entertaining  competition has completed group stage encounters and has entered the round of 16. This means only 16 of the original 24 teams remain standing, with eight teams heading home.

All the first-place and second-place finishers of the group stage qualified for the knockout round, while the four best third-placed teams made it through to complete the field of 16 teams.

African powers Ghana and Algeria were both eliminated in the group stage.

For Algeria, the defending champion fell flat in its title defense, while Ghana failed to reach the knockout round for the first time since 2002.

On the flip side, Cape Verde advanced to the knockout stage for just the second time in the nation’s history, following up its 2013 showing when it reached the quarterfinals.

Tiny Comoros also moved on in its first-ever appearance at the AFCON tournament.

It was the final team to make it through as a third-place finisher, with Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau missing out.

Here is the schedule for the forthcoming round of 16 kicking off on Sunday.

Taarifa will bring you prompt updates of the action packed tournament.

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Watch out For Arsenals 16-year-old Lino Da Cruz Sousa

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Arsenal have completed the signing of 16-year-old Lino Da Cruz Sousa, Taarifa Sports desk understands.

The left back, who is of Brazilian heritage, played two years above his age group for West Brom Under-18’s last season and has been earmarked as a potential star of the future by those within London Colney.

Sousa will turn 17 later this month and has already trained with his new teammates.

According to West Brom’s official website, Sousa is a widely versatile left back who has caught the attention of several Premier League sides due to his fantastic dribbling ability and close control.

The youngster was called up for an England training camp in March 2020 and he’s gone on to represent the Young Lions at under-15 and 16 level.

In addition to featuring in a higher age group for West Brom, the left back started a Premier League 2 match against Newcastle in February 2021.

“Lino’s an athletic full-back, reads the game well, has a lovely left foot and it’s not often a 16-year-old plays an entire season with the 18s, but that’s credit to him because he has so much potential,” said West Brom under-18’s coach Peter Gilbert.

Academy chief Per Mertesacker had earmarked the left back position as one particular area where the Gunners need to strengthen at academy level.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have made available several academy players for loan in January.

Tim Akinola, Zak Swanson, James Olayinka and Ryan Alebiosu are among the players set for the next stage of their development, with Folarin Balogun putting the finishing touches to his Middlesbrough loan move on Monday afternoon.

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Kessié Coming in, Ndombele leaving Tottenham

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Franck Kessié currently larging it up at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, for whom he scored on Thursday as they guaranteed qualification for the knockout stages, eliminating reigning champions Algeria in the process, could be on his way to the Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur are ready to make Milan a decent offer for the 25-year-old midfielder before the January window closes, in the hope of avoiding an unseemly bidding war for his services with Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires in the summer.

Spurs see Kessie as the ideal replacement for Tanguy Ndombele, who looks increasingly likely to go on loan to PSG, in a deal which could include an option for the runaway Ligue 1 leaders to buy at the end of the season.

Newcastle United remain interested in bringing Jesse Lingard on loan to St James’ Park until the end of the season and have made a new and improved offer after having a previous one rejected.

Lingard is reported to be interested in the move but Manchester United want to cash in with a permanent deal for the 29-year-old, who will be a free agent in June.

Newcastle are also reported to have submitted a £14.5m for Bayer Leverkusen’s Dutch left-back Mitchel Bakker and are inching closer to completing their £30m deal for Sevilla central defender Diego Carlos, despite facing competition from another unnamed Premier League club.

With Bernd Leno also rumoured to be off to Tyneside, Arsenal will try to sign New England Revolution’s Matt Turner as a replacement for their reserve goalkeeper.

After returning home early from Afcon following the detection of heart lesions after testing positive for Covid, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has taken to Instagram to provide fans with a medical update.

“Hi guys, I came back to London to do some additional checks, and I’m very happy to say that my heart is absolutely fine and I’m completely healthy!!” he or one of his people wrote in a message accompanied by a beaming Pierre giving a thumbs-up in the gym.

“Really appreciate all the messages over the last few days and I’m already back at it.”

The news will be welcomed by Milan, Juventus, PSG, Marseille and Sevilla, who are all interested in taking the out-of-favour Gabon international on loan.

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