PFA stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Raheem Sterling over alleged racial abuse

The City and England winger has hit out not just against the racist abuse he received at Chelsea, but also the portal of young black footballers in the media. (AFP)
Updated 10 December 2018

PFA stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Raheem Sterling over alleged racial abuse

LONDON: The Professional Footballers’ Association has said that it stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Raheem Sterling after the Manchester City player suffered alleged racial abuse during his side’s surprise 2-0 defeat against Chelsea.
Chelsea and the police are investigating the incident at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which was highlighted on social media.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, Sterling accused British newspapers of helping to “fuel racism” with the way they portray young black footballers.
Simone Pound, PFA head of equality and diversity, said: “Football is a microcosm of society and incidents such as this highlight the current political climate.
“Raheem has made a stand by speaking out and we stand shoulder to shoulder with him against the discrimination of which he speaks.”
A statement from the organization added: “The PFA condemn, in the strongest terms, the increase in racial abuse our members have been receiving from the terraces.
“We encourage all clubs to take the strongest possible action for fans found guilty of racially abusing players.
“We commend Raheem for his professionalism during the incident and the statement he made via Instagram on Sunday.
“We stand with him in calling for the press to consider the coverage of all footballers carefully, and to end their imbalanced coverage aimed at young, black players.”


Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

Updated 08 July 2020

Lin Dan retirement ends era of ‘Chinese sports superstar’

  • The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded

SHANGHAI: The retirement of two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan signals the end of a golden era of Chinese sporting superstars, state media said on Tuesday.

Arguably the greatest badminton player of all time, the 36-year-old said on Saturday that he was bringing the curtain down on a career that also brought five world titles.

NBA All-Star Yao Ming, Olympic gold-medal hurdler Liu Xiang and two-time tennis Grand Slam champion Li Na have all retired in the last decade.

“With the ‘Super Dan’ curtain call, people cannot help but sigh,” Xinhua news agency said.

“The era of the superstar that once belonged to Chinese sports has faded.

“When will the next Lin Dan appear? Or when will the next Yao Ming, Liu Xiang and Li Na appear?

“Where is the next Chinese sports superstar who will create a collective memory for us?”

The quartet were not just world leaders in their sport and popular in China, but also had “considerable influence in the international arena and became a window for the world to understand China,” Xinhua said.

Of prominent Chinese athletes left, women’s volleyball player Zhu Ting has the potential to rise to superstar level, Xinhua said, while disgraced swimmer Sun Yang “enjoys high popularity (in China), but unfortunately he is banned.” 

The 28-year-old is appealing against an 8-year ban for refusing to give a doping sample. The three-time Olympic freestyle champion’s career will effectively be over if he loses his appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

China has world champions in other sports, and finished third behind the US and Britain in the medal table at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but they are not generally well-known even inside the country, Xinhua said.

Table tennis player Zhang Jike, another three-time Olympic gold medalist, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Lin, said the Oriental Sports Daily.

But at 32 his best days are behind him and as far back as 2016 he signaled his intention to retire, before having a change of heart.

“When will the next Lin Dan and China’s next sports superstar appear again?” asked the newspaper.

“This question may not be answered in a short space of time.”