Seedorf says punish players who cover their mouths to speak to opponents Ondrej Kudela during a training session. (Reuters Photo)
IN a bid to curb racism on the football field, former Netherlands international Clarence Seedorf has a suggestion and said players who cover their mouths to speak to opponents or referees should be punished.
Slavia Prague defender Ondrej Kudela was banned for 10 matches by Uefa on Wednesday (14) after being found guilty of racist behaviour towards Rangers player Glen Kamara.
During a Europa League game on March 18, Kamara was incensed when Kudela whispered something in his ear. Kamara claimed Kudela called him a “f****** monkey”, which Kudela had denied saying. Like what Seedorf had pointed out, Kudela had covered his mouth before talking to Kamara.
“I have seen stuff with players speaking and covering their mouth during matches,” he said in an online event hosted by the Council of Europe.
“There were some racist situations in the last weeks or months where the players among themselves had hate speeches.
“Those things can be very easily attacked by implementing some rules. For me it should be abandoned to be able to speak like that when you approach an adversary.
“When we’re talking about sport it has to be completely transparent, so why would I cover my mouth if I need to talk with my adversary?
“If I want to (cover my mouth to) talk to my coach or a team-mate, all fine, but when I approach the referee or another player in any sport, you are not allowed to cover your mouth, it has to be a sanction, a yellow card.”
Not on the football field, even online racist abuse of footballers been a talking point lately. Former France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has suspended his social media accounts protesting online abuse of players and not much being done to address the issue.