WHILE global focus is on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, it is the manner in which the latter has treated black people as well as the brazen violation of supposed principles by FIFA that has become a cause for concern for progressive minds. 

Both Ukraine and FIFA have been unmitigated disasters on that front, throwing away the book of honesty and transparency to the dogs. 

For Ukraine it is as bad as they come. 

On one hand, Ukrainians are seeking global sympathy, while on the other, they are treating black people and other non- Ukrainians like animals. 

The irony is that they are courting the support of the countries whose nationals they are abusing. 

Despite their problems, which have been caused by their naïve decisions to allow themselves to be backed by Uncle Sam’s reckless foreign policy as well their dumbfounding desire to join NATO’s war-mongering grouping, we will not let them off the hook, especially when they ill-treat other people as they are doing right now. 

Put simply, Ukrainians has been shooting themselves in the foot and they will have no-one to blame when the chickens come home to roost, as they will in the near future. 

Let us get deeper into this matter. 

When the invasion of Ukraine started on February 24, there was a stampede by people of all nationalities to flee the country but there were disturbing reports that Africans and Asians were being denied access to transport to leave that country. 

Priority, Africans and Asians said, is being given to Ukrainians with people from the two continents being told openly by Ukraine officials that their lives do not matter. 

This placing of black and brown at the bottom of the social hierarchy is mere confirmation of what we have said time-and-again that whites are, by their very nature, racist. 

This puts paid to their pretences and infallible lies of equality and other purported actions against racism. 

The reality, as it is unfolding right before our eyes, is that black people do not matter in their general scheme of things. 

Reuters, citing the Ukraine Education Ministry, estimates there are 16 000 African students in that country, with Moroccan, Nigerian and Egyptian students making up 20 percent as of 2020. 

Zimbabwe has 118 students in Ukraine who have since been evacuated to safer ground according to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa’s Post-Cabinet Briefing statement on Tuesday last week. 

That does not, however, take away the fact that Ukraine has been found wanting on racism. 

Below is a March 2 2022 report by Al Jazeera which aptly captures the intensity of the racial discrimination in Ukraine. 

“Barlaney Mufaro Gurure, a space engineering student from Zimbabwe, had finally reached the front of a nine-hour queue at Ukraine’s western border crossing of Krakovets after an exhausting four-day trip. 

It was her turn to cross. 

But the border guard pushed her and four other African students she was travelling with aside, giving priority to Ukrainians. 

It took hours, and relentless demands, before they were also allowed to go through border control. 

‘We felt treated like animals’, the 19-year-old said in a phone interview from a Warsaw hotel. 

Gurure, a freshman at the National Aviation University, fled Kyiv hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine on February 24. 

‘When we left (Kyiv) we were just trying to survive’, she said. 

‘We never thought that they would have treated us like that (…) I thought we were all equal, that we were trying to stand together,’ Gurure added. 

‘Ukrainians and Polish nationals are allowed to pass through the much quicker vehicles’ lane, while foreigners have to go through the pedestrian one, a three-stage process that can last from 14-50 hours’, Moss said.” 

Not to be left out in the ensuing Ukrainian melee is FIFA which finally came out in the open when it inadvertently exposed the hand that owns and controls the beleaguered global body after it unjustifiably banned Russia from all footballing activities. 

This is despite what has turned out to be yet another embarrassing FIFA lie, that it is a non-political entity. 

“The decision by FIFA on February 28 2022, to suspend Russia from international competition – a move that could see the national team excluded from the 2022 FIFA World Cup – breaks with a tradition of inaction by soccer’s world governing body over the ethical failings of member-states,” reads in part a March 3 2022 report titled, ‘FIFA’s suspension of Russia is a rarity-but one that strips bare the idea that sport can be apolitical’. 

“Other than the exclusion of South Africa and Rhodesia during the apartheid era, examples of preventing national teams from competing are hard to come by. 

Nazi Germany took part in the 1938 World Cup, as did France in the World Cups of the 1950s despite that country’s bloody wars against independence movements in Algeria and Indochina. 

No sporting sanctions were placed on the Argentinian junta, which detained and executed its own population inside football stadiums that went on to host the 1978 World Cup finals, and Nigeria was allowed to compete in the 1970 World Cup qualifiers despite its government waging a war against Biafrans, which resulted in up to two million deaths by starvation. 

The list goes on. 

But the point is FIFA does not usually punish national teams for the actions of the country’s government. 

FIFA’s rationale stems from a desire that sports should not be political. 

It is a fig leaf that generations of FIFA administrators have hidden behind.” 

There will surely be a response by other progressive nations and minds to the madness that we have witnessed in recent days from Ukraine and FIFA. 

Let those with ears listen. 


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