Musampa backs players walking off if racially abused

Former Manchester City winger Kiki Musampa believes players have every right to leave the field if subjected to racial abuse.

Another ex-City player, Mario Balotelli, threatened to do just that when he was targeted by Verona fans while playing for Brescia in Italy on Sunday.

It was yet another high-profile incidence of an issue that is blighting the game.

Last month England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria had to be stopped twice because players were being racially abused.

Musampa, 42, would have no qualms if players simply decided to stop playing in such circumstances.

“I would definitely support it because we have to consider people’s feelings,” the former Holland Under-21 international told the Blue Moon Podcast.

“Obviously there are some people who can continue the game and still be focused, but we are not all the same.

“If somebody is hurt in such a way that their focus is not there any more, that the will to play is not there any more, then I fully accept that they walk away and the game should be stopped.

“People need to understand that that’s not part of the game. I mean, it’s 2020 almost. I definitely understand and accept a player who experiences abuse and wants to walk away from the pitch.”

Musampa, whose career also took in spells at Ajax, Bordeaux and Atletico Madrid among others, is now looking to find work as an assistant coach after obtaining his Pro Licence and working at the Ajax Academy.

He added: “As a coach, if I have a player who feels like that, I will definitely go to the referee and tell him that we’re stopping and we’re not playing because my players are being abused. It’s unacceptable.”

Musampa, who had an 18-month loan spell at the Etihad Stadium from 2005 to 2006, is full of praise for how current City star Raheem Sterling has handled the racial abuse he has suffered.

Musampa said: “I don’t think he’s the type of guy who will voice out something just to get some attention. He doesn’t need it.

“We should hear him and we should do something about it.

“I’m happy that he’s voicing out his feelings because I think there are a lot of players out there who experience something negative or something bad, but they wouldn’t take about it or say anything about it.”

:: The Blue Moon Podcast is available at: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/bluemoon-podcast/id327055102