When Didier Zokora And Teammates Literally Kicked Racism In The Balls
Didier Zokora's response to being racially abused was an emphatic one when the Ivorian midfielder took matters into his own hands.
During a Turkish Super Lig game in April 2012, Zokora and Emre Belözoğlu were involved in a heated altercation that led the Turkish international to hurl a racial slur, right in front of the referee.
He was later hit with a two-game ban in what was an incredibly lenient punishment given the atrocious racial abuse.
Zokora spoke to Lig TV about the incident, saying, "Belözoğlu and I came face to face during the match. I'll tell you what he said word for word. He called me: 'A f**king n**ger.'
"This is the first time in my life something like this has happened to me. Belözoğlu has Africans like Yobo and Sow as teammates - I can't understand why he'd say such a thing.
"We're trying to get on with our jobs. What does the colour of our skin matter? Fans, FIFA, the press are all against racist statements. I hope something like this doesn't go unpunished."
But less than a month later the two were on the same pitch together when Fenerbahce and Trabzonspor met again. And Zokora, aided by his teammates, was out for revenge.
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Former Newcastle and Inter midfielder Emre was on the receiving end of some truly brutal tackles in the game - with the final blow coming from Zokora himself late on.
The former Spurs man stared down Emre in the middle of the park and did not have any eyes for the ball - instead he had eyes for Emre's balls and promptly kicked him there.
Zokora somehow only received a yellow card for his horror challenge - much to Emre's frustration.
"He kicked me straight in the balls! Thank Allah I have a child, or I may not have become a father," Emre said to Vatan post-match, via Goal.
"His tackle should have been a red card, and he should have been banned for two matches."
Two years after the initial incident, Emre became the first Turkish footballer to be hit with a suspended two-and-a-half-month prison sentence for a racist crime.
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