Racism forces Eto'o to keep kids away from games

April 4, 2007

MADRID, April 4 (Reuters) - Barcelona's Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o has said he prefers not to take his children to matches because of the racist attitudes in stadiums.

'It is something that has affected me personally. I think players, leaders, and the media have to join forces so that no one feels looked down upon because of the colour of their skin,' Eto'o was quoted as saying in sports daily Marca on Wednesday.

'At this moment in time I prefer my children don't go to football matches. In the stands they have to listen to things that are difficult to explain to a child. It is better they aren't exposed to it.'

Last season Eto'o threatened to walk off the pitch after being racially abused by fans in a match at Real Zaragoza's stadium. Zaragoza were fined after the incident.

A number of other Primera Liga clubs, including Atletico Madrid, Malaga, Racing Santander and Getafe, have been fined over the last two years after fans directed racist abuse at visiting players.

The Spanish government has committed itself to taking a hard line on racism in football, after a rise in the number of incidents of abuse directed at players in recent seasons.