Racism in football has been a problem for a very long time, one taken very seriously, but also one difficult to control as well as very hard to prevent.
The media report on it whenever they can, and often do their best to find those responsible for it, yet a lot of it still goes undetected, or at least, unreported.
In his upcoming book about racism in Belgian football, called “Vuile zwarte, Racisme in het Belgische voetbal”, from which an excerpt was published on Voetbal Primeur, Frank Van Laeken recalls an incident involving Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool forward Divock Origi at the 2016 Euros, when Belgium faced Italy in their 2-0 loss to Antonio Conte’s side in Group E.
He wrote: “When the French cameraman zoomed in on Lukaku, I suddenly heard behind me: ‘OE-OE-OE’. Without turning my head, I knew they were obviously present: racists. Even when Origi appeared in the picture, we had to endure the same ‘monkey noises’.”
The freelance journalist continued by exclaiming the fact such incidents still happen when a black person appears on a screen ‘simply defies imagination’.
The book, which was released on Tuesday, also looks into how racism is handled abroad.