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“We received a Ukrainian family with an autistic child. Just pray for it to pass…”

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Coach Domingos Paciência took part this Thursday in a webinar organized by La Liga Portugal

La Liga Portugal and Fundação do Futebol, in partnership with SJPF, APAF and ANTF, invited coach Domingos Paciência to a forum where the importance and role of football in the fight for equality were discussed. During the webinar, which marks the start of the “No to Racism” campaign, which will run throughout the 27th round of the Bwin League and the SABSEG League, discrimination in football, experiences in other countries , the conflict in Ukraine and the personal experience of those involved were on the table.

About racism: “In football, I have lived with several black players, of various religions, but I have never seen prejudice against any of these people. We see these situations on a daily basis, but these are situations which, by their dimension, today everyone and I would like everyone to look at this great maxim: there is only one race and that is the human race.”

Football as an unlocker: “You cannot confuse, because there are two types of supporters. Some who love and live football in a passionate and joyful way and who live the spectacle that football must be and others, who do not see anything at all that , they only see frustration and other feelings, or other inappropriate behavior in football. Until all the fans are aware that this type of behavior is completely the opposite of what is football they will only succeed in spoiling this great party which is football Of course there are different cultures but unfortunately it is those fans with this kind of mentality who spoil and make football a show not the party it should be. I have always understood football as a passion and I have always heard that football is the dream, the joy, the emotion and not an industry. Unfortunately, there are people who go through this border and express their frustrations and anger in c attitudes and behaviors.

Different cultures: “It would not be an episode of discrimination, but of acceptance. When I was at Kayserispor, Friday was always the holy day in the Muslim religion and I knew that on that day I had to coordinate training differently. I knew that I had seven players who had to leave, and as a coach I had to adapt to that. It had no impact on me, because I knew it was more important and that it was necessary to respect the instructions of the people, to accept them and to create a stability and a harmonious environment.”

Lack of proximity: “If we go back a few years, we conclude that football urgently needs to get closer to the fans. I see that when the stadium gates open on Sunday, it seems like D-Day for them. A few years ago , the doors of training and the closeness they had with the fans was different, they “lived” all the emotions, they grew up from young people to be close to the teams, with a passion for football. think that this proximity, the actions of solidarity, the players have to leave, I remember that in several countries, the players went to the children, to the young people who are the future of football”.

War in Ukraine: “Unfortunately, there is this same discrimination that we are also talking about here. Women and children are leaving and men are staying in Ukraine and this is intended discrimination! There is a great risk that humanity will enter into a great war! I also live all that because we received a Ukrainian family with an autistic child and it is very complicated to manage all that. We can only pray that it passes.

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