Monday 7 October 2019


ENGLISH Premiership side Aston Villa yesterday expressed disgust at a section of the club’s fans who chanted racist songs denigrating Zimbabwe international Marvelous Nakamba during the team’s 5-1 win over Norwich on Saturday.

The star who has been a marvel for Villa, a club he joined from Belgian giants Club Brugge at the beginning of the season, was subject to taunts in a video that circulated on social media after the victory.

Nakamba had an outstanding performance against Norwich, getting rave reviews and looked set to clinch the man of the match poll.

In a statement, Aston Villa said: “Aston Villa is disgusted and appalled by footage circulating on social media of supporters chanting a racist song which makes reference to two of our first team players.

“The club wholly condemns the chant and urges other supporters to help us identify those responsible.

“Chants of this nature besmirch the good name of Aston Villa Football Club and our fans. If the perpetrators are identified they will be dealt with in the strongest manner by the club and be reported to the Police immediately.

“Our security staff will be vigilant at forthcoming games to ensure that anybody attempting repetition of this chant will be dealt with severely.
“We know we can rely on the assistance of the majority of our fans to eradicate this toxic behaviour immediately.”

Anti-racism charity, Kick It Out, an organisation that challenges discrimination, encourages inclusive practices and work for positive change in football said: “Important message from @AVFCOfficial the chant is offensive and completely unacceptable. Fans must understand that racist stereotypes have no place in football or wider society, and those involved should face consequences along with the necessary education. #KickItOut.”

Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust also condemned the racial slurs.

“AVST is disappointed to hear about the chanting directed towards Marvelous Nakamba yesterday. It’s a cheap and insulting stereotype that has no place in this day and age.

“Racist stereotypes are never acceptable. Hiding so-called support behind such words are reprehensible and condemned by all decent Villa supporters.

“We will be contacting the club regarding the issue and we will be working closely with them to ensure that it is addressed swiftly.” 

The Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (Fuz) joined the list of those who condemned the racial attacks.

“#MarvelousNakamba is a symbol of strength and beauty, everything that makes our football and our country wonderful, against everything that is hateful and unacceptable. Racism and discrimination of any kind have no place in football. #KickRacismOut.”

A majority of Aston Villa fans took to the social media to express their disgust at the “few, rogue” elements and called for their bans.

English media extensively covered the nasty incident, The Sun running with the headline: “Aston Villa ‘disgusted’ by fans’ racist chant about Marvelous as they slam section of their own supporters.”

The Daily Mail  ran with: “Aston Villa slam fans’ racially-charged chant aimed at Zimbabwean star Marvelous Nakamba featuring the word ‘rasta’ and references to slavery.”

Mirror’s headline was — “Aston Villa condemn ‘toxic’ fan behaviour in statement responding to racist chanting.” Chronicle


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