Olympiakos strategic advisor Christian Karembeu expressed his confidence on Tuesday that UEFA are getting to grips with racism in soccer after suffering abuse during the recent Greek derby against Panathinaikos.
Panathinaikos have vowed to identify and punish the supporter who made racist gestures directed at the 44-year-old New Caledonia-born Karembeu, who was on the sidelines during the game.
“Racism is not an issue which is specific to Greece or the rivalry between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos,» said the former France international.
“It is basically a continuous problem in our society today and which we must eradicate through unity rather than division.
“The sad events of last week in Athens are not so much about the strong rivalry. It is more like a mirror of the problems of discrimination and intolerance we face across Europe and beyond.”
Karembeu continued: «Our best response is to unite and promote messages of inclusion, education and respect. For example, UEFA has recently created new campaigns and initiatives to help spread a positive message.”
The former Olympiakos, Nantes, Sampdoria, Real Madrid and Middlesbrough player is an ambassador of the UEFA Captains of Change programme.
“The idea here is to select a number of key decision-makers in different European soccer federations and help them create awareness for the issues of discrimination in their respective markets thanks to specific projects,» the 1998 World Cup winner added.