FIFA has been cracking down on musical instruments, certain types of beer and water bottles at the World Cup in Brazil, but they turn a blind eye to fans wearing blackface.
On Friday, June 20, three fans wore blackface in the Arena Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador to ridicule the Afro-Brazilian and Caribbean religion Candomblé. Just a day later, at least five more Germany fans wore blackface to mock the players on Ghana’s team. Security let them through the gates both times, and photos and videos of their racist display went viral.
Racist taunts are common in European sporting events, where black players are routinely taunted with monkey chants and have bananas thrown at them. This rude behavior should not be tolerated at any sporting event, particularly not the World Cup which is viewed by millions of families around the world. Wearing blackface ruins the fun of the game for many viewers.
FIFA’s failure to crack down on racism is incompatible with its #SayNoToRacism campaign, invites people to take selfies holding signs with the hashtag, which it will feature on a large display at one of the games. FIFA needs to live up to its commitment and stop allowing fans to dress in blackface.