The current Citizens boss would back his players if they decided to walk off the pitch due to racial abuse
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola fears racism will never be eradicated from football, though says clubs, players, managers and authorities must continue to fight the problem.
The latest in a long line of examples of racism in the game occurred on Sunday, when Antonio Rudiger alleged he was abused during Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win at Tottenham.
Three separate calls were made over the stadium PA system for fans to stop using racist chants, which were reported to referee Anthony Taylor by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
On Monday the FA confirmed that they would be launching a full investigation into events in north London, a move that has won the support of both Blues boss Frank Lampard and Spurs’ Jose Mourinho.
A Manchester City supporter was arrested after he was seen to be racially abusing Manchester United players this month.
City’s Raheem Sterling has also faced abuse in the past, and has since become a standard-bearer in the fight against discrimination with his vocal opposition.
Guardiola is concerned the issue will ever be stamped out in football or society in general, but it must be tackled on a daily basis.
“I don’t think so. We have to fight but it will take time, a lot of time, to eradicate it,” he told a news conference when asked if he believed racism could be defeated.
“I think it was a problem which has happened for decades, centuries. But now it’s visualised more because the media is more up front and close to the problem.
“I think it’s happened a long time, we just have to fight again and again. The little kids, in the schools, on the streets.”
Asked if he would support his players walking off the pitch should they receive racist abuse, Guardiola said: “Of course my players support the initiative and what happened you have to battle day by day.
“It’s not about one club or one person. It’s about the football world, one vision.
“It’s a battle you have to fight in the schools, especially, in the families at home to try to make a better society in the future.
“It’s a battle day by day. All of the initiatives we are going to support and have been supportive.”