Soccer fans mocked with monkey noises and spit on Nigerian forward Adebowale Ogungbure as he left a soccer field in Germany in late March. It sounds like a story from another decade, but this type of violent racism might just destroy this year’s World Cup. The NYT offers a must-read piece about the recent surge in racist sentiment among European soccer fans.
Surge in Racist Mood Raises Concerns on Eve of World Cup
By JERE LONGMAN
HAMBURG, Germany, June 3—As he left the soccer field after a club match in the eastern German city of Halle on March 25, the Nigerian forward Adebowale Ogungbure was spit upon, jeered with racial remarks and mocked with monkey noises. In rebuke, he placed two fingers under his nose to simulate a Hitler mustache and thrust his arm in a Nazi salute.
In April, the American defender Oguchi Onyewu, playing for his professional club team in Belgium, dismissively gestured toward fans who were making simian chants at him. Then, as he went to throw the ball inbounds, Onyewu said a fan of the opposing team reached over a barrier and punched him in the face.