Peru launched a campaign Tuesday to eradicate racial discrimination in its football league, the Ministry of Culture announced.
"Racism in Peru is a painful reality that is perpetuated by lack of complaints and a collective behavior of tolerance against discrimination that needs to be eradicated," said the Minister of Culture, Diana Alvarez Calderon, said at a press conference.
She noted that the main objective of the campaign 'Alert Against Racism' is spreading the word in sports venues, in commercials and social media to fight against ethnic and racial discrimination in Peruvian football.
"I have received all kinds of racist insults, but I keep playing without hearing what is said in the stands," EdgarVillamarín, Alianza Lima defenseman, told the AFP.
"It's not enough to just put signs in stadiums and on the streets," said the player who in February said he had been racially abused during the match played by his team at the Technical University of Cajamarca (UTC), in the city of Cajamarca (northeast).
For his part, the chairman of the Professional Footballers' Unionization of Peru (SAFAP), Francesco Manassero, stressed the commitment of this guild to help find a quick solution to the problem, which has a strong repercussion in the stadiums.
"We must unite, fight against racism and denounce acts like that. We will study what sanctions we will dish out in cases of racism in the stadiums," Manassero told AFP.
He said his union has reported other cases of racism in football, but they were not reported by the victims.
In February, the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) announced the adoption of sanctions to punish acts of racism and xenophobia in local tournament matches.
Among the sanctions given out by the FPF is the temporary suspension from the stadium, to play games behind closed doors and the prohibition of entry of the aggressors, temporarily or permanently.
Text and photo: AFP