BrandArena: Eto’o wins anti-racism award

Thursday 12 March 2015

Eto’o wins anti-racism award

Football star Samuel Eto’o's inspiring stand against racism won him an award Monday, as the European Council warned that prejudice still stalked the game in Europe.

The former Cameroon and Barcelona striker received the Medal of Tolerance from the European Council at a Tolerance and Reconciliation gala dinner in London’s Kensington Palace, the home of Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate.

The first recipient of the European Medal of Tolerance was His Majesty Juan Carlos I, the King of Spain and the second Medal was presented to the President of Croatia Ivo Josipović and the former President of Serbia Boris Tadić.

Eto’o, 33, who currently play for Sampdoria in Italy, famously tried to walk off the pitch during a Spanish match due to the racist abuse he was suffering.

“The last year has been a particularly challenging one for football in terms of hate and racism,” the four-time African Player of the Year said in a statement. “As players, we need to take a moral stand because we are the people the spectators watch.”

The event was attended by many stars from the world of football, including, Eden Hazard, Anderson Luís de Souza (Deco), FARE Network Chairman Howard Holmes, UEFA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs William Gaillard.

The award ceremony took place amid a time of rising racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, both in general and more acutely surrounding football.

Now retired from international football, he is Cameroon’s top goalscorer with 56 from 118 caps, and has won the Africa Cup of Nations twice as well as an Olympic gold medal. 

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