(Reuters) – Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany said diversity in club boardrooms and institutions of power could help in tackling racism in soccer more effectively, rather than just punishing individual offenders.
“The upturn in racist abuse is worrying but at the same time it’s something that is good to be discussed so much, to ask ourselves the right questions,” Kompany told Sky Sports.
Earlier this season, Kompany’s team mate Raheem Sterling accused sections of the British media of fuelling the problem with a negative portrayal of young black players.
Sterling also encountered racist abuse during England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro in March, while there have been other cases in English soccer in recent months.
Arsenal launched an investigation into racist abuse suffered by Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly during their Europa League victory on Thursday.
Three Chelsea fans were stopped from entering Slavia Prague’s stadium for Thursday’s Europa League game after a video of a racist chant about Liverpool’s Egypt international Mohamed Salah circulated on social media.
However, Kompany said the focus should not lie only on individuals who directed abuse at players.
“The issue is a little bit deeper. I look at boardrooms, I look at mechanisms of power… and I don’t see a lot of diversity in that,” the Belgian added.
“When you ask for them to come up with policies to change the situation, you wonder whether the constitution of those boardrooms are capable of coming up with the appropriate solution.
“I would like to see more people of a diverse background actually being the bosses, editors-in-chief, the people that actually decide on what the public agenda is.
“I think that would make a big, big difference and would have a much bigger impact than just a punishment of individuals who probably carry a lot of their own problems on the table when they come to the stadiums.”
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)