Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Sakho keen to promote tolerance

Mamadou Sakho has spoken about the one time he has encountered racism as a footballer
Mamadou Sakho has spoken about the one time he has encountered racism as a footballer

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho believes education is the best way to tackle racism and all other forms of discrimination.

A survey published on Tuesday claimed more than half of all professional footballers in England have either witnessed or been subjected to racist abuse in stadiums.

The poll of 200 players in the Premier League and Football League was carried out by football's anti-discrimination group Kick It Out.

France defender Sakho has only been in English football for a short time, having joined from Paris St Germain last summer, and said racism is not an issue he has had much experience of personally.

However, he has tried to do his part to promote tolerance back in his homeland.

"I've only experienced it once in my life and it was not really related to football," he told Press Association Sport.

"At that time I was affiliated to PSG's academy and there were a couple of us aged 13 or 14 coming out of a first-team game at Parc de Princes.

"We were on the concourse and a bottle of alcohol was thrown at us and smashed on the ground.

"We turned around and there were maybe a dozen people insulting us with racist terms but since I've turned professional there has been nothing.

"Through my foundation in France I've always tended to encourage the young people I deal with to forget about racism.

"The focus is on the positive of living together whether you are Christian, Muslim, whatever colour you happen to be, it is all about young people forgetting about differences.

"I have strongly been in favour of that so maybe I haven't experienced it (racism) because of that."

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