Italian soccer manager Gianfranco Zola has shared his views on racism in football. In a conversation with Stats Perform he said Footballers will always face abuse on social media and should learn how to ‘isolate from this.’
Recently three England players were racially abused on social media platforms after missing a penalty in Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday. Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Jadon Sancho were the three players who played penalty against Azzuri but unfortunately, they couldn’t score any as Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two while Rashord failed to hit the net.
Zola sees little chance of social media platforms becoming safe havens for athletes, warning that “bad people will always be there.” Former Italy and Chelsea forward Zola told Stats Perform: “Racial abuse is unjustifiable, unforgivable and unacceptable. I reckon that youngsters have to understand very quickly that not all people they come across on social media are good,” said Gianfranco Zola on racism.
“They use it to provoke, insult, abuse, and vent their daily frustrations. We have to get used to it and learn how to isolate ourselves from this. Especially young people who are famous like footballers. These are all unjustifiable attacks but we have to learn how to isolate ourselves from it all because these bad people will always be there.”
He said: “Many people use [social media] in an absurd way and can cause damage to kids who are on social media and are not ready to accept all this. If you are into social media, you have to be aware these can be used by people to insult and destabilise. This is the dark side.”