Swans’ Ben Cabango Says Racist Abuse Would Make Him Walk

Swans’ Ben Cabango Says Racist Abuse Would Make Him Walk

Swansea City defender Ben Cabango believes walking off the pitch would be the right response if he was subjected to racist abuse during a match.

Having broken through to the Swans’ first team this season, the 19 year-old has featured three times in the Carabao Cup, including his debut against Northampton Town in August.

The Wales Under 21 international was born and bred in Cardiff to a Welsh mother and Angolan father, but insists he has never personally encountered racism in his fledgling career to date.

Earlier this month, racist abuse led to players from both Haringey and Yeovil Town walking off the pitch at Haringey’s Coles Park Stadium in the 64th minute of an FA Cup tie and the match was abandoned.

In a feature for S4C’s Heno, which will be shown at 7pm on Wednesday evening, Cabango and former Wales international Nathan Blake discuss the ongoing problems of racist abuse in football and look at the impact of Eddie Parris, the first black Welsh international footballer.

Cabango said: “It’s 2019 now and it shouldn’t happen, but it still does.

“I think that if there was any racist abuse, players should walk off because it’s not right. No one should be subjected to racism and I think they should just walk away.

“I haven’t had an experience like that in my career, but if it did happen, I’d walk off the pitch.

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“We should be proud to see so many black and ethnic minority players playing for the Wales first team, like Rabbi, Ethan, Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor, and it gives you confidence to become the next one to do that.

“I don’t think racism is such a big thing in Wales and England. As we saw against England in Bulgaria, it looks like it’s out of hand over there. It’s brushed under the carpet in those countries.”

Former Cardiff, City, Sheffield United and Wolves striker Blake – who once received a racist death threat through the post – is glad the younger generation view things differently from his own.

He added: “We’re at the stage now where modern footballers are saying, ‘we’ll walk off the pitch, I shouldn’t be subjected to that.’

“Footballers of my generation are saying they should stay on the pitch to show them, and I’m thinking, ‘why should we have to show anyone?’

“Here’s a plan – just don’t say it. You’re here to watch football, what has colour of skin got to do with anything?”

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Although attitudes are changing, Blake believes that the FAW and board rooms at Welsh football clubs need more representation by people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

“We’ve got an array of talented young black boys coming through, who have fought their way into the Wales squad, but it doesn’t change the culture behind. In Wales, on the pitch we’re in a good place.

“We’re not in a position to say that someone won’t be picked because of their skin colour. What I would say, when you look at the board room and the FAW, how many people of colour are there?”

You can watch the interviews with Ben Cabango, Nathan Blake and in full, on Heno at 7pm on Wednesday, on S4C. English subtitles available.


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