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Never Forget Didier Zokora And Teammates Literally Kicking Racism Out Of Football

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Never Forget Didier Zokora And Teammates Literally Kicking Racism Out Of Football

Emre Belözoğlu's appointment as Fenerbahce manager until the end of the season gives us the perfect opportunity to revisit the time Didier Zokora and his Trabzonspor teammates kicked lumps out of him following a racial slur.

During a game 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 but his real punishment would happen the pitch.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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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."

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But less than a month later the two were on the same pitch together and Zokora, aided by his teammates, was out for revenge.


Former Newcastle United and Inter Milan 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.

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The former Spurs man stared down Emre in the middle of the park and did not have any eyes for the ball - instead going one better and kicking his opponent in the balls.

Zokora somehow only received a yellow card for his horror challenge.

"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."

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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.

This followed up a series of accusations he was racist towards multiple players during his time in English football, though he was never found guilty of any wrongdoing.

Topics: fenerbahce, Football

Josh Lawless
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