The president of the Saints, Andres Ruedaaffirms that he has spoken with leaders of other Brazilian clubs about the possibility that they jointly decide to withdraw their teams from the field in matches in Brazil or abroad in which racist acts are recorded.
Rueda defended this possibility after the São Paulo club denounced in a statement that its players Angelo and Joaquim were called “monkeys” by rival fans in the game on Wednesday in the Chilean city of Rancagua in which Santos visited Audax for the Cup South American.
Despite the fact that Conmebol has already announced the opening of an investigation into the new case of racism, the Santos leader stated that the entity’s sanctions are not managing to stop racist attacks and that a tougher position is necessary. “Conmebol has already been notified and now we are waiting. Some solution has to be taken because we want an urgent response,” Rueda said in an interview he gave to the digital portal of the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.
The manager added that he particularly prefers to agree with other clubs on a more energetic response, such as withdrawing the team from the field. “It’s an alternative that hurts. The idea is that, before any manifestation (of racism), it doesn’t matter where, say goodbye. The team has to be removed from the field,” he said.
The leader admitted that he needs the support of other clubs because it will be difficult for him to achieve anything acting in isolation. “I don’t like the way things are taking. Are they going to penalize the club (whose fans commit racist acts) with a fine or with the loss of points? That’s not the solution. It’s not going to solve. Those who are in the football command, federations, Conmebol, CBF or FIFA, have to find a real solution,” he said. According to Rueda, if the leaders do not act, the solution has to come from the clubs.
A problem that does not occur in a single country
The leader affirmed that the cases of racism in football gained an international dimension due to the attacks suffered by the Brazilian Vinícius Júnior in Sunday’s match between Real Madrid and Valencia for the Spanish League, but clarified that said case was not isolated and that the problem is global. “It is not a problem of a single country. It also happens in Argentina, here in Brazil… And it will not stop with soft measures,” said the Spanish-born Brazilian leader.
This week the case of Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega, victim of racist insults in the Copa Sudamericana match between Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata and Independiente Santa Fe played in La Plata, Argentina, was also denounced.